County struggles with road sign theft, vandalism

Chairman Michael McNamee discussing the county’s issues involving hiring a cleaning staff for county buildings at the commissioners meeting on Tuesday. Cynthia Sheeley/Torrington Telegram

GOSHEN COUNTY – The Goshen County Commissioners convened for its first June meeting on Tuesday, June 6 at the Goshen County Courthouse. Chairman Michael McNamee was present with fellow commissioners Aaron Walsh and Justin Burkart.

The county is facing an extreme amount of road sign theft and vandalism. According to Goshen County Road and Bridge employees, it is currently costing the county about $1,000 a week plus the additional manpower to replace road signs. As a result of the unnecessary and unreasonable amount signs that are having to be replaced, one of the county employees has even had to be designated for this job alone. 

The commissioners ask that all residents keep an eye out for suspicious activity on county roads and please turn it in if they see any. 

Currently, the commissioners are in search of staff to clean the courthouse, extension office, public health and road and bridge. So far, the only bid that has come in was for a total amount of $168,480 a year. 

“We are hoping not to have to pay this much,” McNamee said. “This goes without saying, but we’re going to continue to do research and see what else is out there. We are going to try some other ideas and other resources; We obviously don’t want to put janitorial duties on already busy employees that have so many other things to do.”

The commissioners agreed that they will continue to explore their options to fulfill this need.

Since the last meeting in May, the county has advertised two positions that are open on the joint powers board and two positions that are open on the library board. So far, they have only had two individuals showing interest in the positions; one for each. 

“Similarly, to airport positions and other positions, we should invite them to our June 20 meeting for an interview,” McNamee said. This would give the commissioners a chance to meet each individual, get to know them and learn about their qualifications. 

Ellen Creagar, the library board of director president, was approved for the reappointment of her position on the library board.

During this meeting, the commissioners also discussed 307 Horse Racing and the county’s Burns Insurance policy renewal. 

While no decision was made on the 307 racing, they said that there is a resolution that has been drafted concerning this situation. Moving forward, McNamee said he would like to look at the resolution that is currently being used in Converse County and decide what further action needs to be made. 

Representatives from Burns Insurance Company were present to talk about the county’s insurance policy, answer questions and make recommendations. 

At the beginning of the meeting, several of the county’s department heads gave updates and reports for their department. 

During the chairman’s comments section of the meeting, McNamee gave updates on the county. McNamee said that he just came back from the Wyoming County Commissioners Association meeting in Douglas.

“There was a look of really good information,” McNamee said. “It’s always a great networking opportunity to get together with other commissioners from around the state and have a healthy conversation.  Most of the counties in the state are dealing with a lot of the same things that we’re dealing with here.”

He hopes that all of the commissioners, himself included, will be able to go to the next meeting scheduled in Casper later this summer. 

McNamee also announced that the commissioners gave out their scholarships to three well-deserving students. Two of the recipients were announced at this meeting, they were Nolan Long and Hadley Fleming.

The next meeting of the Goshen County Commissioners will take place Tuesday, June 20 at 9 a.m. in the Goshen County Courthouse at 2125 East A Street.

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