Rangely trustees talk economic development

RANGELY I Rangely’s Town Board of Trustees reconvened after a holiday break on Jan. 11, 2022. They approved the minutes for the Dec. 14 meeting, the December check register, and the November financial summary.

The Board heard a public introduction from Christine Rambo. She is an economic developer from Louisiana who is working in the tri-county area of Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties. She has 30-years of experience to help evaluate the tri-county region’s strengths, opportunities and identify any concerns to ensure a prosperous future. She offered the board an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas with her.

Rangely citizen MaryAnn Allred spoke regarding the community need for a safe bike lane between South Stanolind Avenue and River Road. Previous discussions have included completion of the bike path on the south side of Elks Park and a bike lane on Prospect Street. MaryAnn advocated to the board that this was a matter of public safety for the community’s children and shared her testimony that a bike lane on Prospect Street was too complicated to be efficient. She offered several ideas for their consideration, including highlighting ways that Bell Street could be altered to increase school traffic safety. Allred urged them to work towards a solution. Town Manager Lisa Piering replied to MaryAnn citing funding as the biggest obstacle to this need. There were no questions or feedback from the board.

Trustees discussed a few quick updates regarding meetings, grant funding and in-progress plans. Town Manager Lisa Piering and Trustee Keely Ellis met with Meeker Town Manager Mandi Etheridge to discuss the REDI (Rural Economic Development Initiative) grant. Trustee Don Davidson updated the Board on the status with Cogency, stating that the ability to move forward was in a holding pattern due to funding.  Piering shared that DOLA grant applications would open up on Feb. 1 and that the Town of Rangely would be applying for the grant to fund the water line replacement on Pinyon Circle.  Piering also hopes that DOLA will assist in the collaboration of the Town of Rangely providing gas services management for the Town of Dinosaur and discussions are ongoing. Piering shared that the town was assisting residents with water main breaks due to a lack of plumbers and guiding many residents through shutting off the water. She noted that this was something they were happy to support citizens with but would like to spend less time on this in the future. Piering complimented Jeff LeBleu and the public works department for their efforts with snow removal when the last snowstorm caught the department by surprise. Rangely will be hosting week two of the Club 20 Summer Policy Committee Meetings at CNCC on July 28-29. Pre-registration through the town is available. 

Rangely Chamber of Commerce Director McKenzie Webber was present to advise the Board on a permit application for the Chamber’s “The Old West” dinner event on Feb. 19. The Board also approved the renewal of Kum & Go’s liquor license. A review of board vacancies highlighted the need for community members to be engaged. The Community Garden has board openings and Planning and Zoning have seats open with another opening soon. 

The next Town of Rangely Board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2022, at Town Hall.

By KATIE KING | Special to The Herald Times