The TANK gets the GREEN LIGHT from Rio Blanco County !!!

What a whirlwind in slow motion….

13 months after the end of our Kickstarter campaign, The TANK has been approved for what is called a Conditional Use Permit.  Without this important but unforeseen step, we would not be allowed to have anyone in the tank in the future!  We never would have guessed that our most creative work would happen in committee.

Lois Celebrates at the TANK
Lois LaFond Celebrates at the TANK

Had we known what it would take to begin to realize our TANK Dreams, we might not have even started this project. However, because of the support of almost 800 of our Kickstarter supporters and the surprisingly strong encouragement of 99% of the Rangely townspeople and Rio Blanco County powers-that-be, we did it! Now we have officially changed the usage from a “water tank”  to an “Assembly” and we are a legal entity. (Here is our proposal which includes plans for the future.)

At the risk of sounding as though we had no idea what we were doing (we didn’t), we’ve chosen to wait until the proverbial t’s and i’s were crossed and dotted before a major update on the State of The TANK, so here you go, you wondrous helpers, benefactors, backers, collaborators, partners, colleagues, and advocates.

The State of the TANK

Even though we have used the TANK for 37+ years, over the past year we found out that, in fact, it sat on TWO pieces of property. In July of 2013, The TANK (Part I) was deeded to us; then we had to deal with the other owner. Because we had such cooperation from people like Rangely Town Manager Peter Brixius, in August Friends of The TANK became owners of the whole TANK and a contiguous 5+ acres of land. Thank you Ken Kenny, we are eternally grateful for the donation of this important small piece of land with a piece of The TANK.

After a long, complicated process including a staggering number of conversations regarding driveway permits, site plans, soil, drainage, weeds, sanitation, ventilation, mineral owners, insurance, permits, parking, approvals, forms, you-name-it… a 14+ page application for the CUP (Change of Use Permit) was submitted. Then the next big news was that approval came from EVERY agency, including our favorite from the sheriff: “Fix it, build it, repair it and let people have fun.” It’s also worth noting that through the graciousness of many town agencies, almost all of our fees have been waived.

County Commisioners hearing our plan.
County Commisioners hearing our plan.

Five trips have been made to Rangely in the past year with Tanksters from New York, California, Texas, and Colorado, all building up to the April 21, 2014 final approval of our status by the Rio Blanco County Commissioners. That meeting, and the Planning Board meeting just the week before brought Bruce and Lois to Rangely to present The Plan.  Mark Sprague, Natural Resource Specialist, made it all possible by his constant guidance through the process. Local townspeople came out in support, with the result that the Planning Commission unanimously approved our application and the County Commission unanimously followed suit.

Your 800 names in the TANK reflect all the music that happens there.
Your 800 names in the TANK reflect all the music that happens there.

We are now a part of the Town of Rangely: 

  • THE TANK, CENTER FOR SONIC ARTS is our new handle.
  • We are a part of the newly-named Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. 
  • We have cleaned and painted the interior and added all of your names in silver .
  • For the first time in all these years we now have Electricity, thanks to YOU! 
  • We have started the Rangely Women’s Choir, affectionately referred to as “The TANK Sirens” 
We couldn’t possibly do an update without acknowledging all of the people of Rangely who have been so astonishingly willing to guide us to this point and help us execute everything including our Community Representatives Beth Robinson Wiley, and Heather Zadra, our driveway donors, Elaine and Steve Urie, our resident soprano Samantha Wade, our long time neighbors and supporters Barbara and Don Wade, and the huge support we have gotten from Peter Brixius, Jeff Kummer, and Mark Sprague.
The Uries, Elaine and Steve,  scoping the new driveway
The Uries, Elaine and Steve, scoping the new driveway

Here’s what happens next: 

  • We will get a DRIVEWAY in a matter of days!  No more slogging up the hill with recording gear.
  • The Building Permits will get approved. 
  • New renovations and additions will be added (a larger door, ventilation, lighting, “container” control room, sanitation, etc, etc).  
  • A building inspection will lead to a certificate of occupancy. 
  • The “Center for Sonic Arts” will open for Music Making, Creative Listening, Learning about the Senses, Innovative Experiences, Expanded Thinking, Altering Perceptions, Dreaming. 
  • Outreach will begin in the Schools!

Here’s what you can do: 

This is a fun project and we need lots of help. We have had such unbelievable contributions from the town of Rangely – and from folks all around the world as well – truly a local and ann international effort. 



 Lois: “We come into this town being strangers, different from most of the community, but we come together in the harmony of the Tank.”

Bruce: “Hearing is when you have to; listening is when you want to.”

1 reply on “The TANK gets the GREEN LIGHT from Rio Blanco County !!!”

I live in the North Fork Valley (Paonia-Hotchkiss area) and have been coming thru Rangely at least once a year for the past 25 years to run the Yampa and Green Rivers (usually May or June) or camp in Echo Park (in October). I will try to come thru Rangely on a Saturday on my next trip. THE TANK sounds like a great side trip. We always stopped at the Tres Portillos restaurant, but alas it’s no longer open. Now I have another reason to stop in Rangely!

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