First reading of budget approved 4-1

Jensen Jennings/Torrington Telegram The Torrington City Council met on Tuesday, May 18, to discuss the first reading of the budget for 2021-2022. The first reading passed in a 4-1 vote.

TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council met for its second meeting of the month on Tuesday, May 18, where they approved the first reading of the budget in a 4-1 vote.

With the first reading of the budget in the books, the council will still have some work to do with the budget before voting on its final reading on Tuesday, June 15. The budget was passed in a 4-1 vote with the lone no vote coming from Councilman Dennis Kelly.

“I guess I would point out that this is a very preliminary budget at this point,” Mayor Randy Adams said. “We got a long way to go as Lynette [Strecker] said. There’s a lot to be added, likely every number on here will change somewhat and by the time we get to third and final reading it will be quite different than what we got in front of us.”

The projected budget total for 2021-2022 is $33,116,113 which is over three million dollars more than what the final budget was for 2020-2021 which was $29,790,892.

“There are still quite a few things that we need to accomplish before third reading,” said Clerk-Treasurer Lynette Strecker. “We have wage presentations from the wage committee, health insurance update, casualty insurance which I’ve been informed will be at least a 15% increase has not been reflected in the budget yet, the final Goshen County IT and MOU adjustments, I have the final administrative fee distribution as well as the final adjustment to cash carry over beginning July 1.”

“There’s still quite a few things, but we are closer to getting it balanced though,” Strecker said. “I did have a staff meeting last week and we discussed a few projects that could be cut out as well as we discussed possibly going out for a lease purchase for some of the equipment which did reduce the balance in the budget quite a bit.”

Strecker also said there will be another budget work session on Tuesday, May 25, where she hopes to finalize most everything on the list and said if they aren’t able to get it finalized, they would schedule another meeting.

After Strecker presented the budget to the council, she opened it up to questions from council members and Kelly asked about where 10,000 dollars in advertising revenue for the golf course came from.

Strecker told Kelly that money came from local businesses who sponsor various holes at the golf course each year and that every few years they go after an additional advertising fee for those.

There were also a few more action items on the night besides just the first reading of the 2021-2022 city budget.

The first action items of the night were two separate mayoral appointments. The first was to name Adams as the voting official for the 2021 Wyoming Association of Municipalities Summer Convention meeting. Adams also appointed councilman Ted Kinney as the alternate voting official.

The second was the appointment of Patrick Connelly, Assistant Police Chief, indefinitely to the Health Insurance Committee.

After the appointments here was a public hearing regarding Jerry and Cleo Olson, who are requesting a setback variance to the south side of their home from the required 30’ to 23’ in order to build a covered front porch with a railing. The council approved the request unanimously.

The next action item was the transfer of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) entitlements from the city of Torrington to Jackson Hole. Once the project in Jackson Hole is completed, they will begin to repay the entitlement back to Torrington. There is no set timetable in place for when Torrington will be repaid. The action was passed unanimously.

After the entitlement transfer, the council unanimously approved the award bid to Timber Line Electric and Control Corporation of Morrison, Colo. for renovations to the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System.

At the beginning of the meeting Adams presented his mayoral informational items. The first was letting the community know that school will be ending soon and that kids will be out and about in the parks, streets and visiting with friends. Adams wants the community to be aware and to pay attention to kids when driving around the community.

The next information item was reminding residents that the vaccine clinic is now at the Pony Express Room in the Lincoln Community Complex and that the next clinic is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Goshen County Public Health is also working on setting up a clinic in June for people 12 years of age and older.

Adams also wanted to remind citizens to be cautious when navigating the street between Olsen Tire and Fresh Foods while the street is still blocked off. Adams hopes the street will be repaired in the next few weeks.

The next item was that the city of Torrington is still working on securing emergency funding for the Ridge Road water main damage.

“Hopefully that repair work and street re-construction can begin in the next month,” Adams said. “A timeline will be made available to residents in the area when it is firmly established.”

Adams then spoke about the first reading of the 2021-2022 budget for the city of Torrington. He said staff and administration have been working hard to meet the needs of the 23 different departments. The second reading of the budget is Tuesday, June 1 and the third and final reading is on Tuesday, June 15.

The next item was a reminder that Torrington Compliance Officer, Tammie Cearns, is issuing warnings and citations to trash, weeds and generally unsightly properties. If your weeds are above eight inches you will receive a warning and will need to cut them within a week.

“Please work to keep the weeds, limbs and trash cleaned up,” Adams said. “Also, when you see that your neighbor needs help, give them a hand too.”

Adams then spoke about the grand opening of the Candy Thompson Memorial Dog Park on Saturday, May 22 from 1-3:30 p.m. There will be demonstrations, snacks with a free-will donation and treats for dogs. Everyone is invited to the grand opening.

Finally, Adams wanted to wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend since this was the last meeting before the holiday.

“The city of Torrington wants to wish everyone an enjoyable weekend and encourages our citizens to think about those who have fallen in service to our country and to remember the sacrifices that Memorial Day is all about.”

The next meeting of the Torrington City Council will be at 7 p.m. in City Hall on Tuesday, June 1. The council will be going over the second reading of the 2021-2022 budget at the meeting.

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