Mayor proclaims ‘National FFA Week’

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TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council met on Tuesday, February 20, in the council chambers. Mayor Herb Doby called the meeting to order promptly at 7 p.m. In attendance were council members Dr. Richard Patterson, Dennis Kelly, Shane Viktorin, Wayne Deal and Mayor Doby. 

Councilmen Patterson led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

“So far the snow falls in the city have been fairly light and manageable this year and the temperatures have also been moderate. Again, I want to thank Ed Hawley, superintendent of streets and sanitation, and his crews for their snow removal efforts,” Doby said. “I also want to thank Mike Lira and his crew for snow removal on the many city parking lots and sidewalks. Finally I want to thank all of the private snow removal contractors for their efforts and also all the property owners for keeping their sidewalks clear of snow and ice spring and summer are just around the corner and will be here soon.”

Mayor Doby also added the city is hiring summer help. 

“The city hires seasonal workers in the parks department, streets and sanitation department, golf course, lifeguards at the municipal pool, water and wastewater department, cemetery and others. The seasonal jobs are good jobs and, in some cases, can lead to eventual full-time employment with the city of Torrington,” Doby said. “If you’re interested in summer employment, please call 307-532-5666. You can also apply at the city website torringtonwy.gov.” 

The council moved on to the consent agenda and accepted and approved the February 6, 2024, council meeting minutes as published. 

The agenda was also accepted and approved. 

The council then moved on to the public forum where there were no public requests to address the council.

“We have several items regarding liquor license renewals we will go into. We will leave regular session and convene for a public hearing the first item on the agenda is public hearings on the retail liquor licenses and so I’ve opened it up for up for public hearing and I want to keep this as orderly as possible,” Doby explained as the council moved on to the action items of the agenda.”

Torrington Police Chief Matt Johnson stated there were no concerns related to the purposed renewals and Silvia Anaya, Deputy City Clerk, announced the applicants had completed their application process and paid their fees. Johnson also noted there were no compliancy check failures for any of the retail businesses associated with renewals.

The following retail liquor license were approved for renewal Essential Fuel, LLC DBA Essential Fuels, Old Grey Fox, Inc. DBA Mint Bar, Caroline Garcia DBA La Familia Prado, Chugwater Brewing Company, Inc. DBA J and B Liquor, Pamela J. Delgado–Garcia DBA Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, Maverick, Inc. DBA Maverik Store #293, The Cigarette Store, LLC DBA Smoker Friendly – Gasamat, SS&G, Inc. DBA Holiday Inn Express, The Open Barrel Brewing Company, LLC DBA The Open Barrel Brewing Company, Torrington Hotel, LLC DBA Torrington Cobblestone Hotel, T.J.L., LLC DBA Broncho Bar, San Pedro JC, LLC DBA San Pedro Taqueria, Kroenmark, LLC DBA Ltd Edition, and EVENCIO, LLC, DBA Thrifty’s Gas and Liquor. 

The council briefly spoke with the available applicants about the new catering application and the process of applying.

“We are moving on to item 1B, which is the limited club liquor licenses. There are fewer of those than there were of the retails, so we’ll go through them like we did the retails. This is an open public hearing. The first one on the list is for Elks BPO 1726 DBA Elks 1726. Is anyone here to speak for that application,” Doby asked.

The council moved on to limited club liquor licenses and approved the applications for Elks, BPO 1726 DBA Elks 1726, Torrington Lodge #664 Loyal Order of Moose DBA Torrington Moose Lodge 664, Travis Snow Post 5 DBA American Legion Club and City of Torrington DBA County Club.

The council then moved on the restaurant liquor license for Tiffany Leslie DBA Broncho Grillhouse and approved the renewal. 

“The next and the last one on the list is microbrewery permit, dual holding that’s regarding The Open Barrel Brewing Company LLC DBA The Open Barrel Brewing Company for a microbrewery permit,” Doby said. 

After some legal guidance regarding a dual holding permit, the council approved the microbrewery’s permit.

The council moved on to item number two on the agenda, proclaiming February 17-24, 2024, as National FFA Week. 

Torrington/Lingle FFA Chapter members, Connor Booth, James Hall, Jacob Durrant and chapter assistant, Sabrina Juma were welcomed to the council meeting.

“We’d just like to thank you for recognizing us and bringing support to the FFA chapter,” Booth told the council. 

The members gave a short explanation to the council regarding the upcoming events for the week and Juma provided the council with some National FFA Convention recaps. 

The proclamation was approved and signed. 

“The proclamation is as follows National FFA Week Proclamation February 17 through 24, 2024, whereas FFA and agricultural education provide a strong foundation for the youth of America and the future of food fiber and natural resource systems and whereas FFA promotes premier leadership personal growth and career success among its members and whereas agricultural education and FFA ensure a steady supply of young professionals to meet the growing needs in the science business and technology of agriculture and whereas the FFA motto learning to do doing to learn earning to live living to serve gives direction and purpose to these students who take an active role in succeeding in agricultural education and whereas FFA approves citizenship volunteerism patriotism and cooperation therefore be it resolved that I, Herb Doby, Mayor of the City of Torrington, do hereby claim February 17, 2024 as national FFA week in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and signature as mayor of the city of Torrington, Wyoming, this 20th day of February 2024,” Doby read.

The council entertained a proclaiming March 12, 2024, as National Service Recognition Day which was approved and signed. 

“Next item on the agenda is approve on second reading an ordinance relating to permits regarding utility work within city rights of way,” Doby said.  

“It’s an ordinance creating and enacting chapter 5.28 of the Torrington municipal code 2024 revisions relating to permits it utility work within city rights of way,” City Attorney, James Eddington said. 

“Basically, my office has received no comments either for or against this from local contractors. We did send out a draft of this to the local contractors prior to the first reading, so they’ve had plenty of opportunity to review this,” Jeff Harkins, Director of Public Works said. 

After a brief discussion on penalties and intentions, the council addressed Harkins for more information.

“If the contractor is following the guidelines that are outlined within this permit structure there shouldn’t be damaging any of our utilities,” Harkins said. “What has happened in the past, and this is mainly due to the fiber optic companies that have come through, they’re doing a lot of boring but they’re not doing the potholing that’s required and as a result they’ve struck two separate lines. One was a 10-inch private line that fed Eastern Wyoming College and caused them significant damage. The other one was up in Albany Avenue, They struck an eight-inch water line there and caused the city some damage,” he continued. “I mean, the intent is do the work, but do it safely, correctly and looking out for the infrastructure of City of Torrington. The $5,000 is, I think, an appropriate fine,” he concluded. 

The council agreed the fine should be equal and non-discretionary.

“Mr. Mayor, I have a question. This idea, or hypothetical situation, came to me after first reading and I wondered if this ordinance would apply to companies that perform not necessarily work for the city but work for private residences that line their sewer pipe from their home into the city’s main sewer line,” Viktorin said.

“They do need to pull the permit if they’re doing work within the cities right of way in other words if they’re connecting to the sewer in the alley then they would need a permit at that alley,” Harkins responded. 

“If there aren’t any further questions for the gentleman (Eddington, Johnson and Harkins) out there I would entertain a motion to approve item number four on second reading relating to permit permits utility work within the city rights of way,” Doby said. 

The motion was made, seconded and the motion passed. 

The council then moved on to item five on the agenda, a price increase to the Pioneer Park RV Camping fees. The council approved the motion to change the fees from $20.00 per night to $25.00.

Lynette Strecker, clerk/treasurer, gave a brief explanation of the financial report as of December 31, 2023. 

“We don’t really need approval we just need you to accept it that I gave it to you tonight and you understand it,” Strecker told the council.

Viktorin motioned to accept the financial report as given by the clerk/treasurer. The motion was seconded by Kelly. With no further discission, the council voted to accept the financial report and the motion passed. 

In item seven, the bills for February 7 to February 20, 2024, were approved as read. 

Moving on to public comments, Doby and council heard the fire report from Torrington Fire Department Chief, Lance Petsch. 

“This weekend I know LaGrange had a pretty good grass fire, just to remind us it can and will happen even though it is February,” Petsch said. 

Before the meeting was adjourned, Patterson thanked the area first responders and paid respects to the fallen Sheridan Police Officer, Sargent Nevada Krinkee.