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RANGELY | The Rangely Development Agency held its monthly meeting last Thursday where they welcomed a new board member and continued to discuss future areas of focus with Better City.
Earlier in the week the Rangely Town Council voted to appoint Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce Director Konnie Billgren to the RDA/RDC boards. Billgren has been with the chamber since August 2016.
The board approved a $7,500 façade grant for Elaine Urie for updating the front of the old Ace Hi Lounge. Urie plans to raise the porch and move it farther out as well as work on the roof line and put on new doors. Urie said she plans to turn the building into a type of youth center that would give teenagers a place to hang out. She said she has plans to “do more than just that though,” and mentioned potential cooking classes and a basketball court. She described it as a “user friendly community center.”
The RDA façade grant allows businesses to apply for financial assistance to make property improvements. To qualify for the grant the improvements must be visible from the street. The grant is matching, meaning the business owner must also be able to provide the same funds. $7,500 is the maximum amount awarded.
Kelby Bosshardt of Better City joined the meeting via phone to discuss the current goals of their project. Bosshardt suggested trying to bring in a call center. According to Bosshardt, Rangely could potentially offer a college workforce and needed connectivity through the fiber optic lines. Better City would need to first complete a work force study of the community and then sell the location to call center services.
Connected to the call center is the potential for a “co-working space”— somewhere entrepreneurs or small business owners can have an office space and board room available for use for a membership fee. A similar project has found success in the Grand Junction area.
Bosshardt also suggested a community promotion video similar to one that was produced for Meeker. It would likely be a 2-4 minute video at an estimated cost of $10,000-15,000.
The last item discussed with Better City was a community facilitation event to allow the community to visit with Better City and discuss their economic development plans while brainstorming ideas for Rangely.
RDA chairman Brad Casto brought up concerns that the association bylaws require a five year term limit. Casto recommended changing the bylaws to allow for members to serve longer, as filling vacancies is not always easy. Town Manager Peter Brixius suggested the RDA hold a work session with the town attorney to work through and update the bylaws.
The RDA meeting was immediately followed by the RDC meeting where Rick Brady addressed the board regarding the Elks Club trap range work, for which the RDC has provided some funds.