Council appoints fire chief

Jess Oaks
Posted 4/5/24

TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council met Tuesday, April 2, for the first meeting of the month. Mayor Herb Doby was present along with council members Dr. Richard Patterson, Dennis Kelly, …

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Council appoints fire chief


TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council met Tuesday, April 2, for the first meeting of the month. Mayor Herb Doby was present along with council members Dr. Richard Patterson, Dennis Kelly, Shane Viktorin, and Wayne Deahl were present. 

Doby called the meeting to order promptly at 7 p.m. and Paterson led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

The council quickly jumped on to the mayor’s informational items where Doby expressed spring has arrived in Torrington. He reminded the community of the hours of operation for the bailer as well as the spring clean-up dates and times, Saturday, May 4 to Saturday, May 11, and encouraged anyone with questions to call the bailer at (307) 532- 4689.

“On March 6, 2024, the City of Torrington received a check in the amount of $14,434 from Wyoming Community Gas,” Doby said. “The city can use this money to do good in the community. These things include local scholarships at Eastern Wyoming College and community improvements such as the gazebo area of East A and 22nd on the grounds of the old Pioneer School. Local natural gas customers will be receiving information in the mail that the selection period that starts on Thursday, April 4, 2024, and ends on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. By your selection of Wyoming Community Gas helped the City of Torrington to receive Wyoming Community Gas distribution funds,” Doby added. 

Doby also reminded the community with the nicer weather, more pedestrians will be taking advantage of the nice weather, urging the public to drive with caution. 

The council then moved on the approval of the consent agenda which included the March 19 meeting minutes as published. A motion was made by Kelly, seconded, and approved by vote. 

Moving on the approval of the agenda, a motion was made by Viktorin to accept the agenda as presented which was seconded by Deahl and approved.

During the public forum portion of the meeting, Doby reminded the public this is a time for the council to listen and he reiterated no action will be taken. There were no participants of the public forum. 

Under the informational items, Doby called on Rhonda Estes, senior account clerk for an update on Wyoming Community Gas update.

“I wanted to let you know that we are getting presented with mail that will be explaining our choice gas program with the natural gas. It is actually choosing the commodity part Black Hills Energy will actually still do all of the billing, the meter reading, the service maintenance. That is their companies input but there is a portion of it that is just for your consumption and so you can choose which supplier it is that you want and the ladies at city hall would be more than welcome to help you if anyone needs it or any of the residents in our community, that’s what we’re here for, no matter which supplier they choose we will be willing to help them in whatever way we can to help them feel comfortable with their choice,” Rhonda Estes, senior account clerk said. “Those that do go with Wyoming Community Gas, they are the only supplier that gives back to the community and that is where the distribution came back to our community in the amount of that $14,434 that we’ve done some really neat things with.”

The council moved on the mayor’s appointment of Luis Correa as Torrington Fire Chief, under the action items. 

Doby expressed Correa was nominated by his peers and the term would run April 8 to December 31, 2024.

“Mr. Correa was one of my students early on he was a good student,” Patterson said. “He’s been a good employee for the city, and he’s been a good fire fighter and he’s a good man. I absolutely support this,” Patterson added. 

There a motion was made by Deahl to accept the mayor’s appointment, which was seconded by Patterson. The motion passed during vote and Correa was appointed fire chief. 

Moving on to item two of action items, the council entertained an ordinance on the second reading relating to special event permits and fees. After a brief discussion on changes which were made after the first reading, Patterson motioned to approve the ordinance on second reading which was seconded by Kelly. The motion passed and the ordinance was passed on the second reading. 

The council then moved on to voting on a request for a special event permit for a series of summer concert events to be held on June 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the intersection of east A street and east 21st avenue. 

Leann Mattis with Go Goshen spoke to the mayor and council about the change of location and how it would be able to accommodate event goers and she expressed the event would start at 6 p.m. however set up would begin at 3 p.m.

After a brief discussion, a motion was made to approve the permit by Deahl, seconded by Kelly and the motion passed. 

The council then moved on to the fourth action item, council consideration, where the council heard from Chuck Kenyon, emergency management coordinator and Thomas Bozeman, Goshen County Emergency Management regarding a new mass notification system. 

After a brief introduction to council, Bozeman expressed he would be discussing the mass notification system used in Goshen County, Eastern Wyoming College, and the City of Torrington share.

“Right now, we currently use OnSolve. OnSolve is our CodeRed, is what everybody knows it by, they are our current vendor,” Bozeman explained. “We’ve been with them for quite some time. They were kind of a founder in the mass notification software field. They started years ago, and we were on a minute plan. That plan is going away. We can stay on that plan but it a substantial increase.”

In the discussion, Bozeman explained to the council, after researching other vendors, Bozeman felt a program ran through CivicPlus called CivicRec, would be the most compatible program with a lower cost, overall.

“If we stay on the minute plan, which they will let us do, that will cost us $16,000 a year,” Bozeman said. “That going to be 18% added to what we paid last year. When we talked to CivicRec at the time, they were $13,000, but if you notice on this chart here, it’s a little bit less.”

Bozeman expressed to the council, switching companies will be difficult but worth the work. OnSolve is reluctant to share the notification database with Bozeman and other emergency management agencies, so once the switch occurs, users must sign up with the new company, even if they already were signed up with OnSolve, according to Bozeman. He also informed the council there will be a QR code for easy sign-up once the switch occurs. Bozeman also expressed the new company’s services would overlap the current company’s services, requiring an adjustment in the budget. Bozeman also explained to the council, having an overlap in services would be helpful to ensure the transition is smooth.

Lynette Strecker, clerk/treasurer informed the council, once Bozeman had received the approval to continue with the company switch, she would provide a budget amendment at a later date.

A motion was made by Viktorin to approve the new mass notification system, which was seconded by Kelly. The motion passed. 

The council moved on to the fifth action item, construction manager-at-risk (CMAR) proposal regarding a construction project at Homesteaders Museum. Doby called on Sarah Chaires, museum director and Ken Farrier, Goshen County Construction, LLC.

Chaires expressed to the council, roughly seven years ago, the museum received a donation of artifacts and a monetary gift. The monetary gift was divided into two separate funding pools, a general expense fund and a building fund. Chaires expressed to the council, the donor requested the building funds be spent to build a space for the donated artifacts however Chaires also would like to add an achieve space within the new structure which would be north of the museum depot. Chaires told the council the use of a CMAR allows her to workclosely with the contractors. 

“This basically sets up Goshen County Construction, LLC as what I would call a general contractor,” Doby said. “He’s responsible for making sure all of this gets done and you meet your deadlines.” 

Farrier answered additional questions from the mayor and gave council a brief description of a CMAR.

“CMAR is one of the three methods that is allowed to be used to spend public works money,” Farrier explained. “As a CMAT the contractor, myself, would be responsible for much more than just looking at your drawings and bidding it. In this case, as you can see right here, there is a preconstruction fee. That is the first part of the construction for CMAR. There’s a contract that contracts that amount. That amount I have put together as what it would take to get the design finished, based off of your initial concept,” Farrier continued.

“To go any further, you have to agree to the preconstruction fee to get it engineered and to get it to the point where you will accept this is what we want to bid; this is how you want it to look,” Farrier said. “It’s a pretty transparent type of method. You know where you’re at. You will know where your money is being spent.”

“I think it’s important for the public to understand that the money that’s being used for this project came from an estate,” Viktorin said. “The city accepted that estate money for the sole purpose of building this. “The intent of the gift essentially started long ago.” 

Mayor Doby called for a motion to approval the proposal of a CMAR which was made by Paterson and seconded by Viktorin. The council then voted to approve, Ken Farrier of Goshen County Construction LLC as a CMAR for the Homesteaders Museum Construction Project, which was approved. 

Moving on to item six under the action items, staff recommends awarding a bid, FY24 Pioneer Drive, to J-Built Homes, Inc. of Torrington in the amount of $375,795.25 with no contingency. It was noted the final project was scaled by in the amount of $43,795.25 for a final project cost of $332,000.00. Doby called on Jeff Harkins, director of public works who gave a brief introduction of the project.

Harkins recommended the council award the bid to J-Built Homes, Inc. Harkins expressed the contractor would require 45 days to complete the project with an anticipated completion date of June 30, 2024.

A motion was made by Viktorin, seconded by Deahl and the council voted to approve and award the bid to J-Built Homes, Inc.

Next, Doby called on Dennis Estes, building and grounds superintendent to discuss action item seven, resolution number 2024-2, authorizing the submission of a statement of interest (SOI) for federal funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program administered by the Wyoming Department of Transportation for the purpose of the City of Torrington/Torrington Rotary Club Walking and Biking Pathway Improvements West C Street to Jirdon Park Project.

“The City of Torrington has been asked by the Rotary Club to participate in a program to replace all the walking paths from west C street to Jirdon Park where they connect to the newer pathways,” Estes said. “The path would be completely torn out. It would be eight foot wide with pavement markings and new 88 accessible ramps on every approach to the street. Rotary has a grant plan to make this big walking path around town and they’ve already done some improvements for us over on east M and Lupine the past couple of years.”

Doby made sure to mention Estes was presenting a statement of interest and there would not be a need for any further action until all stakeholders could convene. 

Deahl made the motion, which was then seconded by Patterson and the SOI was approved. 

Moving on to item eight of the action items, approval of the bills from March 20 to April 2, 2024, where Doby referenced Lynette Strecker, clerk/treasurer. 

After a brief discussion, a motion was made to accept the bills as presented by councilmember Kelly which was seconded by Viktroin. The council voted and approved the bills are presented. 

During the public comment fire chief Lance Petsch gave his fire report and Estes reminded the mayor and council of the survey crews in the area. 

The council then went into the executive session and the meeting was adjourned thereafter.