Main Street to be a hub of activity


TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council convened for their first regular meeting of September on Tuesday evening. 

Mayor Randy Adams welcomed three students from Ellen Creager’s Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) government class before the meeting. Bree Johnson, Ryker Goodman and Keeley Puls, all sophomores at EWC, greeted the councilmembers and introduced themselves.

“Really glad to see you here,” Adams said. “Nice to have you participating in the city council meeting. It’s nice that Ellen asked you to come…thank you.”

The Classic Cars on Main car show is slated to take place on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Torrington Police Chief Matt Johnson presented an addendum to the existing special event permit held by Doug Mercer for the Classic Cars on Main car show. 

“They would like to add a beer garden to the event,” Johnson said. “The event plan that we have certainly supports that. Clayton Kilgore with Open Barrel Brewing has also attached a catering permit for the beer garden.”

Johnson said the beer garden would only be accessible to those 21 and older. The beer garden would be placed directly in front of the Open Barrel Brewery in Torrington and would have a fenced-off area to establish the beer garden.

“There are no concerns, we just weren’t aware that was going to happen on the initial special events permit, so we needed to do a quick addendum to get that approved,” Johnson explained.

Mercer said he had made the mistake while completing the paperwork, as he thought the catering permit and special event permit were separate items with separate permits. 

The council approved both the amendment to the permit and Kilgore’s catering permit. 

The council heard a request for a Special Event Permit, with the fee waived, for the Torrington High School Parade. 

Johnson told the council he had been working with Gabe Bartlett for the event. They intend to shut down Main Street on Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon for the parade. After the parade, there will be a pep rally at City Park, on the 300 block of West 22nd Avenue, from around noon to 1 p.m. 

According to Johnson, buses will be placed in the alley behind City Park to provide for a safer onboarding and offboarding of students. Additionally, West 22nd Street will be closed from the alley east of City Park to West C Street. The closure should extend from around 11:40 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 

Johnson said Bartlett’s application was short a couple of signatures but asked the council to approve the permit with the exception Bartlett completes the application with the necessary signatures.

The council approved the permit with the provision that Bartlett obtains the required signatures. The council also agreed to waive the permit fee for the event. 

Dennis Estes, the building official for the City of Torrington, presented a request to the council to award a bid to Zell Heating and Cooling, LLC of Torrington for $29,580 and reserve $5,920 for a contingency of the project total of $35,500.

Estes told the council the city shop heaters had not been working well and had provided for at least two close calls involving their current electric heaters.

The heaters sought by Estes and his staff are natural gas heaters that would provide heat through a radiant tube system. 

Estes said Zell’s had provided them with four options, and they felt this would be the best option for the shop’s needs.

Councilman Dennis Kelly cited concerns over their choice as he was aware the type of heating system proposed for purchase has been known to produce cold spots outside of the primary heating area. Estes said he and his staff had discussed the matter at length and spoke with several local businesses to determine the best option. He also noted the proposed system would allow for better clearance on the trucks and ceilings. 

The council approved the bid for Zell’s. 

Jeff Harkins, director of public works, presented a request to the council for the third amendment to an agreement with Trihydro Corporation. Harkins said the amendment would extend the original agreement to Dec. 31, 2024 and increase the budget amount for the project by $28,315. With the amendment, the new total would be set not to exceed $394,283.

Harkins said the state had noticed high bids on a lot of municipal projects and took action with State Revolving Fund (SRF) funding, creating a process to request additional funding.

Harkins said the project was listed as the No. 1 priority on the ARPA funds request. If the city were to be awarded the ARPA funds, Harkins said the department would then forego the SRF loan in favor of the ARPA funds. 

Councilman Richard Patterson asked for clarification on the project. 

Harkins said the funds were to build a pre-treatment facility for wastewater that would screen the water entering the wastewater facility. Currently, the debris and grit accumulate and are transferred to an aeration pond. The ponds then have to be cleaned out regularly, costing the city around $100,000 per cleaning. With the pre-treatment facility, debris and grit would be filtered out, leaving the draining and cleaning of the aeration ponds to be emptied out once every 15-20 years. 

Councilwoman Kate Steinbock asked the priority the wastewater pre-treatment facility was given on the ARPA application. Harkins said it was given first priority, but the final decision will come down to which projects the state scores and approves for the ARPA funding. 

The council approved the amendment as presented. 

Clerk/Treasurer Lynette Strecker presented the financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022 and the bills for Aug. 17 through Sept. 6. 

Strecker reported the cash on hand amount was estimated lower than it actually was. She told the council the budget is in good standing.

The council was pleased with the report and wished to commend the city’s department heads for having “pulled the reins in pretty tight” to keep to the budget in good standing despite the state and nationwide shortfalls of municipal funding. 

During the mayoral information items, Adams reported the weather is set to cool down in the next week after these past few days in the upper 90s. He asked citizens to remain safe and vigilant with the upcoming cooler temperatures and reminded the audience of the fire ban in place through the Goshen County Fire Warden’s office. 

Adams said he and his wife had recently recovered from COVID-related illness and encouraged the public to adhere to hygienic practices to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

He also asked citizens to be vigilant while driving and to be aware of kids playing in and around the roadways in the city. 

Adams said the baler site would be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The baler site is typically closed between noon and 1 p.m. for the staff to take a lunch break. The baler is located at 1000 East 11th Avenue in Torrington. Additionally, grass bins are located at Jirdon Park, East E and 28th Avenue, College Drive North of the softball fields, East K and 15th or Curtis Avenue.

For more information, visit torringtonwy.gov/216/Streets-Sanitation.

Elk Eco Cycle Recycling Center is open to accept cardboard (broken down and flattened), aluminum cans, very clean steel cans, white office paper, newsprint, junk mail, magazines and brown paper. 

Plastic containers of any type, glass, shredded paper, comingled or contaminated products, milk cartons and waxed cardboard are not accepted at the site.

Elk Eco Cycle is located at 310 Curtis Avenue in Torrington. They are open Monday through Wednesday. More information can be found by visiting goshenwyo.com/elkecocycle.

Adams reported the city had submitted applications for funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for four projects: a $7 million wastewater treatment plant project, a $6 million East D Street water line improvement project, a $900,000 Albany Street water line, curb and gutter project, a $1.8 million Well 16 connections and reserve osmosis treatment unit project.
“These projects total nearly $16 million in funding requests. The city will move forward with these projects if and when money becomes available,” Adams said. “City of Torrington budget, as presented, includes all of these projects, and we know full well that we will not receive, likely, even half of the requested funding for the coming year. What we get, we will put to use.”

Adams said there would be a blood draw in the Pony Express Room of the Lincoln Community Complex on Sept. 19 from 1-5 p.m. The Goshen Senior Center will also be celebrating its 50th anniversary on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The city will begin chip sealing operations throughout the city began Wednesday, Sept. 7, and will continue throughout the city. 

Adams noted he had been informed by Dennis Estes that there would be no planning commission meeting on Sept. 13 as the number of people present would not be enough to establish a quorum. 

The next meeting of the Torrington City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Lincoln Community Complex. 

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