Goshen commission takes a look at inflation

‘The department right now is vulnerable, so we really do appreciate what you are doing’

Rhett Breedlove
Posted 6/7/24

TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Commissioners held their first meeting of the summer with updates on various county departments including road and bridge, emergency management, county …

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Goshen commission takes a look at inflation

‘The department right now is vulnerable, so we really do appreciate what you are doing’


TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Commissioners held their first meeting of the summer with updates on various county departments including road and bridge, emergency management, county assessor’s and of course new business to be considered moving forward.

Present at the meeting was commission chairman Michael McNamee as well as fellow commissioner Aaron P. Walsh and county clerk Mary Feagler.

Commissioner Justin Burkart was unable to attend this week’s meeting.

The meeting began with a mandatory report of the county road and bridge department. According to chairman McNamee, a very crucial department position is once again vacant.

“I wanted to pass along some news involving our road and bridge department, and I regret to inform the people of the county we are now in search of a superintendent once again,” McNamee said. “Boyd Wagner who served briefly in that capacity has made a decision to pursue other interests. As he will be moving along, we will be advertising an opening for road and bridge superintendent.”

Despite the position being vacated at perhaps a very crucial time, chairman McNamee nevertheless gave deserved kudos to Wagner who served briefly but very efficiently.

“We do wish Boyd well,” McNamee continued. “After visiting with Bob [Taylor] yesterday, I heard nothing but good things about the job he did. We wish him well and are thankful for all he did for Goshen County.”

Moving on from the discussion of needing a new superintendent, the commission carried on with updates of recent department reports as presented by officials Mike Tietjen and Bob Taylor.

“Well, we have no standard subdivisions to approve,” Tietjen began. “Our current Civic Plus module planning, zoning, and permitting is working right now. We are still learning some of the stuff and are trying to get the public to where people can just click on it. Registering and then applying for a septic permit subdivision right now is limited, because everything is not perfectly transferable the way it is currently. There are still some other things going on, but road and bridge is at one of those points where we have to satisfy our requirements.”

“Just to flow up a little bit, two things which may come out is we are currently working with Goshen Solar on permitting,” Taylor added. “We at one time redrafted a new agreement, and there are a lot of things which have to be calculated in terms of cost reconstruction, and bonding. We are working through the process; however we haven’t yet determined the final cost. We just talked last Friday, so that we can look at it again as far as permits and calculations.”

With summer storms and rain becoming a source of concern for most residents as far as flooding, Taylor made a notable point to touch base on the subject of flood plains with the commission.

“As far as flood plain management, there have been some questions about determinations on property within limits,” Taylor continued. “We have met with the Corps and FEMA three times now, and as far as the county is concerned there may be some changes in terms of corporateness. Right now, there are a lot of folks claiming to be in the flood plain. We have been working on that for a year with no answers, and no final solutions right now. Part of the reason the corps guys have been coming in is to help resolve that situation. Hopefully something will change in that regard, and we can help folks in Goshen County with what’s going on.”

As both Tietjen and Taylor proceeded to finish their department’s presentation, chairman McNamee expressed sincere appreciation in their work and dedication thus far this summer.

Most notably since the department has been recently without a superintendent.

“I do want to thank you guys for helping us so much with the departure of Boyd,” McNamee said. “The department right now is vulnerable, so we really do appreciate what you are doing.”

A noteworthy presentation on the agenda for the morning included a special new business report by representatives of Burns Insurance out of Cheyenne.

According to representing agent, Shawn Burkart, partnerships between the insurance company as well as Goshen County have been mutually positive and beneficial. However due to ongoing federal economic inflation, county officials can expect the cost of insurance to continue to rise.

“Property value is basically the same without inflation costs, but we are seeing rather big increases in property rates,” Burkart stated. “Anything involving a lot of buildings is getting hit. Unfortunately, that’s nationwide. It’s not just travelers, it’s every company we are dealing with. Crime stayed flat with a little increasing there, but deductibles stayed the same. Even bigger commercial counts were flat. In looking at this I can tell you I have spent a lot of time in counties, cities and have gone through a list of 30 some companies. It’s an extremely hard market right now across the board. It’s a hard market right now to get anything accomplished which is frustrating on our end.”

“Well, this is a long-standing relationship with you guys, and it has been a positive one,” McNamee responded. “We certainly understand your quotes reflect what’s happening in the industry and that is something you mentioned may still hold variables which can change. But those numbers but won’t be significant. Honestly in this day and age we wouldn’t be surprised by a statement of ‘we can no longer insure you.’ While we don’t cherish the thought of the cost of insurance continuing to go up, we understand that’s just reality. When you have all numbers in go ahead and bring it back, and we will vote on the approval.”

After hearing customary bi-weekly report updates from Goshen County Emergency Management Coordinator and fire warden Tom Bozeman, chairman McNamee introduced notice of the county’s intentions to purchase a useable building in order to utilize the needs and equipment of numerous county departments.

“It was discussed at an earlier meeting the county was going to pursue the purchase of the Flock’s Glass building for the purpose of housing emergency management equipment including the communications trailer, portable pins and things like that,” McNamee said. “This matter had been tabled until we were able to do some further research on it, but at this point we are ready to move forward with the purchase of that building. The commissioners will be requesting a check of $1,000 for an earnest money deposit which will be made to First American Title who will be handling the transaction. That purchase contract has been presented to the owner of the Flock’s Glass building, and we will proceed forward and see where the purchase goes.”

The commission adjourned the meeting at 9:56 a.m. just prior to moving into executive session, and will reconvene again at the Goshen County Courthouse Tuesday, June 18 at 9 a.m.