Rangely council talks manager, water and more

RANGELY | Interim Town Manager and Job Search

The council unanimously agreed to appoint Town Clerk Lisa Piering as the interim Town Manager following the departure of Peter Brixius at the end of August. Piering’s added role will come with a pay increase to $87,000 annually and mileage expenses. Brixius will be moving to Craig to take the role of town manager.

During a work session the council discussed three management firms to potentially handle the town manager search. According to Brixius the fees are negotiable but typically run $15,000-$27,000. They will begin interviewing the firms next week.

Mayor Andy Shaffer suggested they look within the community before hiring a firm to widen the search.

They also discussed hiring an additional employee to focus on economic development.

CML Policy Committee

Andy Key was appointed to represent the town on the membership-based Colorado Municipal League. Previously the role had been filled by Town Manager Peter Brixius.

Building Inspector Service

The council unanimously agreed to a resolution allowing the town to share building inspector services with Rio Blanco County. The town will cover 40% of the costs, or around $38,000-$40,000. In years past a full time inspector cost the town around $86,000. Rangely has been without a building inspector for around ten months.

The contract will go into effect January 1, 2019. The current county inspector is Jeff Kummer.

Opposition to Ballot Initiative #97

A resolution encouraging residents not to support the Colorado Ballot Initiative was passed. The Initiative would increase set back requirements for oil and gas development to 2,500 feet, meaning no drilling can occur within that distance of any human occupied structure. The council believes the rule would greatly damage the industry and is extreme.

Support for Ballot Initiative #108

Council support Initiative #108 was tabled. The initiative asks for an amendment to the state constitution requiring the government to, “award just compensation to owners of private property when a government law or regulation reduces the fair market value of the property”.

Brixius said it has some, “real fatal flaws in the way it’s written.” He expressed concerns that a municipality such as Rangely could be sued for zoning decisions which negatively impact a property owner.

Town Water Rights

The town is working through the process of retaining their water rights which are up for renewal this year. They just received notice that no objections to the water rights have been filed. The application will now go to water court for evaluation.

Drought Concerns

Despite a drop in White River water levels Water Department Director Don Reed told the council there is, “no imperative danger of having to go on (water) restrictions at this time.”

 

By Jen Hill | jen@theheraldtimes.com