Rangely council hears updates on improved water supply, police department and sales taxes

RANGELY I The Rangely Town Council held a quick meeting July 28, when they heard several supervisor reports from the Utilities Department, Police Department and Town Manager, including current sales tax statistics.

The Utilities Department is currently under the supervision of interim director Don Reed. Reed informed the board that he is currently completing a plant profile, which he expects will not be a quick process.
However as a result, he has already reduced the chemicals added to municipal water by 31 percent.
“We are working at producing a better quality of water for the Town of Rangely,” Reed said.
Rangely Police Chief Vince Wilczek updated the board on several personnel events. Officer William Penya recently passed his exams, allowing him to move on from field training and into the position of patrol officer, and Officer Tirynn Hamblin has completed extended drug training, which has equipped him to better detect and deal with drug offenders.
Wilczek also took a moment to commend communications supervisor Mercy Mcalister for all of her efforts. Wilczek told the board that “Mercy does the job of four people.”
Chief Wilczek notified the board also that the Meeker dispatch center is planning on relocating to the new county building in Meeker once it is complete, however, during the moving process, the center will need to operate out of Rangely.
That move is expected to take between six to eight weeks in January and February.
Wilczek ended his report by informing the board of a new initiative he has undertaken to improve community relations with police officers. Wilczek would like to see the officers experience more public interaction in order to help the public become more comfortable with the officers and improve officer communication skills with the public.
Town Manager Peter Brixius updated the council on the statuses of numerous grants, including the end of a 2014 grant for $335,000 for water line improvement.
Brixius said the following grants are either currently in use or in the process of being applied for: a $1 million grant for Phase II of water plant improvements; an $18,000 grant for building a breezeway at White River Assisted Living; a DOLA grant of $13,000 for the plans to improve the Rangely Town Hall; $7,000 towards parking lot improvements on South Stanolind near the new car museum; a $75,000 grant to repair the roof at the water plant; and a $739,000 grant for water line improvements in several neighborhoods, including La Mesa.
Brixius also updated the board on current sales tax tracking numbers for the town.
Sales tax receipts from January through June were down 6.6 percent when compared to the same time period in 2014 and down 16.4 percent compared to 2013.
According to Brixius, these numbers are similar to what other rural Western Slope communities are currently experiencing.
The Rangely Town Council will meet again on Tuesday at 7 p.m.