RDA/RDC nominates new board member

RANGELY | The Rangely Development Authority and Rangely Development Corporation met last Thursday where they discussed a TANK grant and board membership.
The RDA/RDC nominated Jason Kruger to the board. His nomination will now be sent to the town council and mayor who will make the final determination. Kruger currently works in the CNCC aviation program.
The board approved a $6,000 grant application for The TANK. Bruce Odland with The TANK participated via phone conference, reviewing the history and potential of The TANK. Odland described The TANK’s progress as fast and said they are trying to increase their presence in Rangely including banking, accounting and employment. Odland said that the requested $6,000 would likely go to salaries including a new executive director.
Katelin Cook, economic development coordinator for Rio Blanco County, also participated in the RDA meeting by phone call to update the board on the further development of an aviation maintenance and repair operation in Rangely. Cook recently spoke with a company that is interested in developing an apprenticeship with CNCC and building a satellite facility in town. CNCC President Ron Granger said CNCC is also developing a drone program with various partners. He reported several aviation businesses which have expressed an interest in Rangely.
The RDA recapped the economic development forum which was held last month. Chairman Brad Casto expressed a desire to see more attendance at local meetings. Discussion quickly landed on the issue of a full service grocery store and a desire to see grocery competition. The board also held a philosophical conversation about the role tax funds should play in developing new business. The board did not have a unanimous opinion on the issue. Other concerns mentioned included current home foreclosure rates and walking paths. RDA member Tim Webber told the board that grocery stores and trails were more wants than needs and that the RDA should primarily focus on a business incubator, co-working space and expansion of the aviation industry.
The board discussed a resolution to further define the configuration of the RDA board. A motion was made in August to reduce the board size from 13 to 11 members and follow the statutory guideline of having a single special district representative selected jointly by the special districts at-large. The board will now include eight members appointed by the mayor, one representative from the school district, a county commissioner and one special district representative.
Town Manager Peter Brixius passed on a concern expressed by the RDA’s attorney that the resolution as written could impede the RDA’s ability to condemn properties. Chairman Casto was pleased and said he didn’t believe the RDA should be condemning property anyway.
The resolution was tabled until further discussion with the special districts could take place. It will then need to be approved by the town council and adopted by the RDA.
On Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. the RDA/RDC and town council will participate in a combined discussion about the direction of the RDA.