Rangely Board hears road maintenance concerns

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RBC | The Town of Rangely Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, Jan. 28. 

Petitions and Public Input

Citizen René Harden addressed the board about the condition of the town’s roads, stating, “I wonder why the roads haven’t been kept up this year like they had in the past? I talked to several people on Rio Blanco, Rangely Avenue, Lake Street, School Street, Middle Street and none of them have been plowed like they had in the past. Our roads have never been this bad, never.”

Public Works Supervisor Jeff LeBleu explained that his department begins plowing snow when there is ¾ of an inch or more of accumulation. “We are keeping the lanes of traffic open, we have a route that we take, it’s the hills, the schools, and the hospital and once those roads are done, we go back to the side streets. Yesterday we had two trucks on the south side and two trucks on the north side. Every road in town got hit and every road in town, I think got taken care of and got widened. The ice buildup is the nature of the beast when you get these little skiffs.” Geer agreed with Harden saying that there were some slick spots for sure and asked if crews put sand down on the slick spots? LeBleu confirmed that they do. Mayor Shaffer suggested Harden and others concerned about the roads file complaints with Town Manager Piering going forward.   

Supervisor Reports

Rangely Police Chief Ti Hamblin thanked Alisa Granger for taking department photos last month. Call numbers are staying consistent. Chief Hamblin introduced the newly hired Lieutenant Dallas Coker who is finishing his modified FTO training. Coker is from southwest Colorado. He started his law enforcement career in 2009 in Cortez, Colorado, at the Cortez Police Department and then worked in Claremore, Oklahoma, followed by Moffat County Sheriff’s Office for the past four years. Hamblin reported that he and Mayor Shaffer attended a mental health discussion at CNCC, Officer Leech attended a level one traffic accident school, Officer Block attended advanced roadside training, all the officers attended the CNCC Ranger Academy graduation last month, and they hosted child abuse awareness training by River Bridge from Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Chief Hamblin recognized Officer Lavon Block and Fire Chief Jasper Whiston for their actions on Dec. 5 in which a 40-year-old suicidal female attempted to jump from a second story balcony.  Whiston and Block were able to safely restrain the woman before she jumped over the railing headfirst. Chief Hamblin mention again the Dec. 22 incident where Officer Block administered Narcan (a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose) to a 29-year-old female who had overdosed on a mixture of methamphetamine and heroine. After administering two doses of Naloxone (Narcan) the female regained consciousness and was transported to Rangely District Hospital where she later made a full recovery. Hamblin said the RPD would be formally acknowledging Officer Block at a later date for his life-saving actions during that call. The Rangely Police Department begin carrying Narcan in July 2019.  Chief Hamblin reported that one arrest of a juvenile had been made in regard to the Rangely True Value burglary. As of Jan. 28, one of the stolen firearms had been recovered.

Town Manager Update

Town Manager Lisa Piering introduced Jeannie Caldwell as the new Town of Rangely marketing coordinator. Caldwell has lived in Rangely for a year. She and her husband moved from the Front Range to Rangely for his position with Colorado Northwestern Community College. She grew up in Southeastern Kentucky in a rural town and said that with mining and the gas industry in that area it is very similar to Rangely in many ways. Caldwell has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northern Kentucky University and for the past 21 years has managed a product for a company out of Cincinnati. She said she is thrilled to be in Rangely and that the town’s greatest asset is the citizens. Piering reported that she and Caldwell attended the Northwest Colorado Air and Space Coalition Denver Tour Jan. 21-23. She also commended the public works department for their work fixing a recent water leak.

New Business

Robie moved to approve the preliminary December 2019 financial summary and Geer seconded. Robie moved to approve Resolution 2020-01 adopting the Rio Blanco Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan in its entirety. Rio Blanco County Emergency Manager Ty Gates explained to the trustees and meeting attendees that they started working on the plan in 2017. The county, both towns, both fire districts, and Meeker Sanitation participated in the state and FEMA approved plan. The Hazard Mitigation Plans are good for five years. He said they are waiting on adoption from the participating agencies and then he will submit it for final approval. Granger seconded the motion for approval, and it passed unanimously.

Keely Ellis was appointed to the trustee position vacated by Matt Billgren. The term is from 2020 through 2022 effective Feb. 1. Ellis works for Colorado Northwestern Community College and is currently on the RDA/RDC board. Ellis has been in Rio Blanco County for nearly eight years and has lived in Rangely for three of those years. She said she is anxious to serve the residents of Rangely and to help the town move forward economically.

Running unopposed for another term in the municipal election are mayor Andy Shaffer and trustees Trey Robie and Tyson Hacking.

By ROXIE FROMANG | Special to the Herald Times