WRBM, town consider future of parks and trails

RANGELY I Following the termination of a town parks maintenance agreement, the Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District (WRBM) and the Town of Rangely have started the planning process to ensure the future upkeep of the community’s parks and trails.
Since the 1980s, the WRBM has maintained Hefley Park, the Rangely camper park, and the east entrance park, all owned by the Town of Rangely.
In January, WRBM Executive Director Tim Webber notified the town that the WRBM board of directors would exercise a termination clause to nullify the agreement with 90 days written notice.
The agreement’s end came as a surprise, Rangely Town Manager Peter Brixius said.
The maintenance agreement, renewed in 2010, made the WRBM responsible for maintaining the parks’ landscaped areas, irrigation systems and facilities as well as managing the Rangely camper park. The town was responsible for capital improvements to parks structures and roadways.
Webber said the WRBM will focus on using its resources to maintain the facilities it currently owns.
In a meeting March 5, the park and recreation district agreed to continue maintenance of the three town parks until a new agreement could be reached. New options put forth in the meeting included the Town of Rangely maintaining the parks and trails it owns; the town contracting with the park and recreation district to maintain the parks; or the town deeding the three parks to WRBM.
“We’re open to some ideas,” Brixius said. “We certainly would like to see the Parks and Rec Department find a way to care for the facilities — at least the ones they’ve been caring for.”
During the meeting, Webber agreed to begin drafting an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) to be presented to the governing boards. The agreement would lay out a plan for the future management and funding of parks and trails currently owned by the town.