City council keeps old pool rates

Jess Oaks
Posted 3/22/24

TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council met for their second March meeting on Tuesday. Mayor Herb Doby, councilmembers Dr. Richard Patterson, Dennis Kelly, and Wayne Deahl were present. The …

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City council keeps old pool rates


TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council met for their second March meeting on Tuesday. Mayor Herb Doby, councilmembers Dr. Richard Patterson, Dennis Kelly, and Wayne Deahl were present. The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. sharp. Councilmen Shane Viktorin was absent. 

During the mayor’s informational items, Doby reiterated employment opportunities with the city of Torrington and reminded the community there are still job opportunities available. Doby then congratulated the Cottonwood Golf Course on their recent award of being named the top Wyoming golf course by Doby extended gratitude to the sports teams assisting in preparing the sports fields require. 

“To all, please continue to enjoy the many recreational opportunities provided by the city of Torrington,” Doby said. “As spring arrives, thoughts of spring cleanup arise. You’ll probably hear me announce this the next several council meetings the city of Torrington has now released this year’s spring cleanup dates. This year’s cleanup dates are Saturday, May 4 through Saturday, May 11.”

Deahl made a motion to approve the consent agenda which was then seconded by Patterson. The consent agenda was approved. 

The agenda was approved, and the council moved on to the public forum which was empty. 

In the action items, the council moved on to the agreement of acceptance, relinquish to the city of Torrington, where Doby turned the discussion over to Jeff Harkins, director of public works.

“What’s being proposed is the relinquishment of highway 85. Well from the state highway department from, I guess you would call it, either fresh foods or Kelly’s all the way up to highway 26,” Harkins explained. “That area now the highway goes over the overpass that was constructed earlier and completed in 2012 or 2013 somewhere around in there. Slightly before my time here with the City of Torrington so I’m kind of playing catch up on this. Basically, what that means is the city now accepts all responsibilities for that section of highway,” he continued.

Harkins expressed that would include pavement maintenance or treatments within the right of way while the state will continue to accept responsibility of the paved surface of the overpass bypass route. Harkins said the street department has already been doing maintenance and treatments, such as snow plowing, mowing weeds, and cleaning sidewalks of snow. 

The council then heard from Buck Klemola, resident engineer from the Wyoming Department of Transportation on the matter.

“I got called attend this meeting just to try to provide a brief history of everything that transpired over the last 25 years or better,” Klemola explained. “I mean ultimately the city approached the department about providing some sort of grade separation to get across the railroad tracks, specifically citing concerns about emergency vehicles being able to get to the other side of the tracks. You have the police and sheriff’s office on this side (of the tracks). You have the hospital on this side (of the tracks) and with the number of trains that were going through there was concerns about people being able to get injured or people that were in trouble the adequate care that they needed,” he continued.

Klemola then explained to the council the different options reviewed to solve the problem separating the town. 

“Moving forward it was the city’s responsibility to put the question on the ballot so sometime in the 90s they put the question on the ballot as to whether or not the citizenry of then, Town of Torrington, now City of Torrington was willing to take on a new route and in that we talked about a trade. That bill question passed I think by a 2/3 to 1/3 margin. I don’t have the date of that, I mean that’s 25 years ago, but be that as it may we then entered into a memorandum of agreement or a memorandum of understanding with the city on what would transpire to make that trade and how it would be funded,” Klemola said. “We ended up doing some context sensitive amenities that were part of the project that the city had no cost in and that’s the decorative lighting on the bridge, the inlay work, the concrete, the paint to kind of make that look a little nicer. Then we had an enhancement project which was the island down below and some of the roadway lighting.”

Klemola mentioned, by Wyoming state statue, the city is responsible for roadway lighting or maintenance of such in a municipality over 1,500 people. He also expressed Mike Varney, who was mayor at the time, was adamant on keeping the business route highway 85\ 92 designation. 

“Before that, he (Varney) talked us into talking highway 92 from out at the intersection of highway 85 and carrying that signage all the way into Torrington so it didn’t dead end out in the middle of anywhere,” Klemola explained. “So we did all of that.”

Klemola expressed to the council, he felt the state was meeting the agreement set forth over 20 years ago and the state was now ready to relinquish the area to the city.

After discussion, Deahl made the motion to accept the agreement and the motion was seconded by Patterson. The motion passed and the agreement will be signed by Mayor Doby. 

The council moved on to the next item on the agenda of issuing a special event permit for SonRise Church and Goshen County Task Force of Domestic Violence for a 5K Fun Run to be held on April 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The applicants requested to have their fee waived due to the fact the run is a non-profit fundraiser for the community. 

After a brief discussion on safety and traffic control with Torrington police chief, Matt Johnson, the council then voted and approved to waive the fees for the non-profit event. 

The council moved on to item three, ordinance first reading where Doby called on city attorney, Jim Eddington. 

“It’s an ordinance amending and reenacting section 3.04.210 of the Torrington Municipal Code 2024 revisions related to the special event permits and fees,” Eddington explained.

Johnson addressed the council.

“This really doesn’t propose a ton of changes to what our current practice is, but I think it does a lot to explain it better and let folks know what the process is and provide some clarity about what expectations are for the city and for anyone who’s applying for a special event permit,” Johnson explained. “I think probably the only significant change that I’m not even sure if you’d call it a significant change, but it does include a $40 event processing fee that would be payable by any applicant and then if that applicant were a community event then there would be no additional fees if the applicant was a for non-profit or event concluding alcohol then they would pay the $200 fee for the special event,” he continued. 

Johnson expressed a portion of the fee would be applied for event preparation by the city. 

After discussion, the council changed the wording of the ordinance to indicate the city may provide a refund for canceled events. 

Patterson made the motion to approve the ordinance on first reading and the motion passed. 

Council then left the regular meeting and convened as a board of adjustment and moved on to item four, public hearing where Doby called on Dennis Estes, building and grounds superintendent to discuss Halco Construction, Inc., is requesting approval of the preliminary plat acting as the final plat of lots five, six, and seven, block four, Halco third addition second filing.

“I’ll start off first by saying, accept next all of this stuff in here is preliminary plats with the exception of the annexation and the zoning ordinance,” Estes began. “So, what we’re doing here is, my ordinance we’re supposed to submit a preliminary plat. It goes to the planning commission and then it goes to the council. Then it’s supposed to come back as a final plat that same series of events, so you’ll have four public meetings and all with these simple subdivisions in these simple changes like this. When they’re doing primary reports it’s just not it’s just expensive and there’s no need for that second meeting, so I always say these are primary plats acting as the final if there’s no changes,” Estes explained. 

Estes expressed Halco is requesting to combine three lots into two lots and with no public comments, Doby closed the portion of the board of adjustment hearing.

A motion was entertained from council, the motion was seconded and approved. 

The council moved on to item b of the public hearing, Halco Construction, Inc., requested approval of the preliminary plat acting as the final plat of lot 13, 14, and 15, block five, Halco fourth addition, sixth filing. 

Item b was approved. 

Council moved to item c of the adjustment hearing which was Green Eagle Communications and Union Telephone requesting of the preliminary plat acting as the final plat of part of the NW1/2SE1/4, of section four, T24N, R61W, which was also approved. 

The council moved on to item d, petition for annexation into the City of Torrington for the legal land description of NW1/2SE1/4 section four, T24N, R61W, which was tabled. 

The council then returned to the regular session where they tabled the ordinance on first reading for annexing the Wireless Addition.

Next the council moved on to tabling the ordinance establishing I-1 zoning for lots one and two, Wireless Addition, on the first reading. 

The council then moved on to awarding a bid to Bob Ruwart Motors of Wheatland in the amount of $32,495 for the purchase of one new police sport utility vehicle, which the council approved. 

The council then moved on to discuss 2024 swimming pool rates. 

Doby stated there was meeting held to discuss pool rates among all interested party. During the meeting, it was agreed, 2024 swimming pool rates should remain the same as the previous year. 

“Everybody being hit hard with inflation, and I think people that are raising families who are not wealthy people are really being hit hard with groceries, fuels and housing cost and those sorts of things so I don’t want to really hit them hard with swimming pool fees,” Doby expressed to the council. “This pool serves a lot of families, and I don’t know what we’d do without it.”

A motion was made to keep the 2024 swimming pool rates the same as the previous year. The motion was seconded and approved. 

Under item nine of the agenda, the council moved on to 2024 power of cost adjustment (PCA) effective as of April 1, 2024. Mayor Doby called on Lynette Strecker, clerk/treasurer for the city. 

Strecker noted there will be a slight increase in power expense, but not terrible. 

“If you look at residential, we have two rates, winter and summer. The rate we are replacing is crossed out,” Strecker said. “The old rate is for winter is .078407 cents per kWh and the new rate will be .079919 so I believe the increase is about 1 1/2 percent average across the board, which is pretty reasonable in this day and age. It’s pretty good,” she continued. 

Strecker mentioned the hearing meeting to approve the rate increase should be held soon. 

Doby clarified Strecker was presenting an application which has to be approve by the PCS before a vote to increase power supply rates. 

A motion was made to approve the application which was seconded and approved. 

The council then approved the bills from March 6 to March 19, 2024.

After a short public comment, the meeting was adjourn.