Rangely Town Council hears support for casino

RANGELY | The Rangely Town Council met for their regular meeting on Tuesday night. During the meeting they heard from a concerned citizen regarding the council’s position on the Dinosaur casino project and voted to approve participation in the Rural Jump Start Program.
Resident Oakley Hopkins spoke to the council about the potential Dinosaur Ute Indian casino. In meetings past the council has expressed reluctance to support the project or the tribe. Hopkins called the words of Mayor Nielsen “racist” and stated that Rangely has no jurisdiction in land use regulations in Moffat County and therefore should not be concerned about the amount of land (four square miles) the tribe is seeking. Hopkins also spoke to economic benefits she believes Rangely would reap from the casino.
Town Manager Peter Brixius updated the council on a meeting he attended in Meeker regarding the increase in algae in the White River, which is causing clogging problems in the water system. According to Brixius nobody is clear on what the cause is, however the problem is still being explored.
Brixius presented the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Financial Sustainability Bill, which includes an increase in hunting license fees. The town has been asked by Commissioner Jeff Rector to support the bill. The council requested more review time before making a decision.
The Town is preparing to put up their new “way finder” signs, which will direct people to areas of interest around the town. According to Brixius the process has taken longer than anticipated as they try to jump through the numerous Colorado Department of Transportation hoops.
The council unanimously approved a resolution allowing Rangely to move towards participation in the Rural Jump Start Program. In order to qualify the town must eliminate town business personal property tax on new businesses. The resolution also directed the town to study whether they should provide incentive payments, exemptions or refunds to new businesses. If accepted, the program allows for relief from state income, sales and use tax, county and municipal business personal property tax and state income taxes for eligible businesses.
Board member Lisa Hatch expressed support for the program and was hopeful it would increase revenue locally. The county passed a similar resolution last month.
Rangely’s gas department sits on Colorado state board land and requires a renewal of the contract allowing the use of that land every 10 years at a fee of $5,000. The resolution to approve the lease passed unanimously.
The council will meet again on Tuesday, April 25 at 7 p.m.