School pride parade and rally to commence Friday

TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council convened for their first regular meeting of October Tuesday evening. 

The first action item of the meeting was a request by Torrington High School Athletic Director and Dean of Students Gabe Bartlett for a special event permit to host a homecoming parade on Friday. Bartlett hopes the parade and a pep rally to be held at City Park will help involve the community and promote a collaborative celebration with both the schools and the community.

“We’re hoping to have a true homecoming parade,” Bartlett said. “With floats and everything.”

Bartlett said he had been working with Torrington Police Chief Matt Johnson to establish a plan to minimize disruption to traffic and maintain the safety of the community while allowing for the short notice parade and pep rally. 

Bartlett told the council students and teachers have been working on floats for the parade, which will take place Friday, Oct. 8, beginning at 11 a.m. and will come down 25th Avenue, go to Main Street, then to 23rd Avenue, to 20th Avenue, to East A Street and then back on 21st Avenue.

After the parade, the community is invited to attend a pep rally at City Park in Torrington on the 300 block of West 22nd Avenue. 

“The though behind it is getting THS back into the community,” Bartlett said. “Our first thought was this was a good way to do it. The businesses downtown were excited about it.”

Bartlett said they are planning to have window painting at participating businesses downtown and will begin the painting very soon. 

The council agreed it was a great idea to hold the parade and pep rally for the community, but were cautious about the safety of those attending or rather those who would not be aware of the parade and rally.

“It’s a great event,” Johnson said. “We are happy to support it.”

Johnson added there are some operational difficulties to consider, but he feels it is something the Torrington Police Department can handle safely and effectively. 

Bartlett also added there would be plenty of parents, teachers, staff and volunteers to aid the school district with ensuring the safety of the students. 

The council approved the request and waived the permit fee.

Doug Mercer with Scottsbluff Valley Street Rods (SVSR) presented an update to the council about the car show which took place on Main Street Sept. 25, 2021.

Mercer was delighted to report 113 cars registered for the event, though eight didn’t show up to the event. 

“120 is the maximum we have ever had in the past,” Mercer said. 

Mercer said SVSR was organized in 1973 and did their first show in cooperation with the City of Torrington in 1999. Mercer wore a t-shirt from the 1999 event prominently displaying a City of Torrington sponsorship on the back of the shirt. 

The group invited vendors Mike’s Wild Dogs and Lemon Love, as well as asking downtown businesses to be open during the event. Both Mike’s and Lemon Love reported to Mercer they had sold out of everything at the event.

Sweet Lou’s, Open Barrel Brewing Company, the Broncho Grillhouse and Sew Addicting were all open during the event. The owner of Sweet Lou’s reported to Mercer they had done very well for the event and had a slew of customers from the event eat at their restaurant. 

Though Mercer was pleased with the number of people who showed up to support the event, Mercer wishes more of the Main Street businesses would have opened their doors for the event. 

Mercer said they had asked the Bread Doctor and The Java Jar to open, but they didn’t. 

“If we can get Main Street vendors interested in activities, we can turn the show into more than for just gearheads and car people,” Mercer said. “That’s the direction we are going.”

Mercer hopes to work with the city and downtown businesses to make the event even larger next year. Mercer made it clear he felt there was a large amount of potential for the event.

The council applauded Mercer and SVSR  for their success at the event.

During the mayoral information items, Mayor Randy Adams reported the following: Ridge Road construction project on the water lines continues, the sewer line repairs in the alley between West A and West B between 23rd and 25th Avenues will take place later this month, fuel line repairs at the airport will complete in November, testing is complete at well No. 6 at Pioneer Park, a new generator is scheduled to arrive at the ambulance building on Nov. 12 and should be installed and operational within that week, the construction and landscaping at Evergreen Plaza is complete and they are awaiting the last bit of the furniture to arrive, a grand opening will be held Sunday, Oct. 24 from 2-4 p.m., Paul Novak was nominated for a prestigious award through AARP, and a vote his favor would be appreciated by Adams, Saturday, Oct. 9, the airport will host a fly-in beginning at 7 a.m. and will feature a variety of airplanes, to include warbirds, breakfast will be served and vendors will be on site, sprinkler blowout will occur Oct. 11 and park restrooms will be closed by Oct. 15.

Adams said there was a slight downward trend in COVID cases but asked the public to be aware vaccination clinics will continue on Thursdays at Torrington City Hall. Those interested can call Goshen County Public Health at (307) 715-0068 to schedule an appointment. 

Adams also asked the public’s help with keeping weeds down and properties in good shape.

A meeting is scheduled for Oct. 6 for stakeholders to share information about recycling. Adams reported the city is interested if they can at least break even. 

The Wyoming Business Council held a meeting last Thursday in Casper where Adams and Goshen Economic Development attended and spoke about a $13.5 million loan and grant request for the city’s eastside industrial park. The Wyoming Business Council approved the request and will recommend the project be funded to the State Loan and Investment’s Board. 

Three ordinances were presented on their first reading to the council. The first being an ordinance to update the fees associated with public records requests. 

Chief Johnson reported he and City Clerk-Treasurer Lynette Strecker had worked together to make the ordinance more effective, in the hopes of recouping costs not only based on pages, but the amount of work required to fulfill the requests. 

The new ordinance would provide a charging schedule for the documents and research requested, in addition to a payment of the fees of the person doing the request when those requests exceed 30 minutes of time to prepare the documents. 

Both Johnson and Strecker said they have experienced a steady increase in Freedom of Information Act requests in the recent past. Strecker added much of the requests have been COVID and Cares Act related requests.

The ordinance was approved on first reading.

The second ordnance was an amendment to the enacted ordinance governing weed control in Torrington. Johnson told the council it was an attempt to modernize and update the ordinances.

Johnson hopes the amendment will clarify what is expected of citizens and will provide a more efficient process for abatement of these types of complaints. It would also provide for an ability of the city to hire out for abatement.

The ordinance was approved on first reading.

The final ordinance presented to the council was an amendment to the tobacco products regulation on city property. 

Johnson told the council the city’s tobacco policy is not in alignment with what is in the ordinances. Through the amendment, Johnson hopes to clarify the tobacco ordinance and work to ensure compliance with the ordinance.

He also discussed the implementation of no-tobacco signs and enforcing the ordinance at playgrounds and on the city’s walking path. 

Johnson assured the council he would begin the process of enforcement by educating the public and asking for their compliance, should the ordinance pass and be enacted as law. 

“Our intention is not to engage in immediate enforcement,” Johnson said. “Our intention is to ask for compliance.”

Johnson added refusal to comply would result in enforcement of the ordinance.

“Our goal is to change behavior,” Johnson added. 

The ordinance was approved on first reading.

Strecker presented the bills, which were approved unanimously, and the council adjourned into executive session. 

The next meeting of the Torrington City Council will be Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Torrington City Council Chambers.


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