TORRINGTON – The Torrington City Council convened for its second meeting in September on Tuesday.
Councilwoman Kate Steinbock M.D. was absent from the meeting.
Mayor Randy Adams started with his information items. Adams said there is one more vaccination clinic scheduled this month at the Pony Express Room on Sept. 24. The clinics will return on Thursdays in October.
Adams also said flu-shot vaccinations will be at the Armory on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
According to Adams, Public Health reported 64 active cases and three deaths in the last week. 35 positive cases were reported within 24 hours prior to the meeting.
Adams said he tries to look for positive news when it comes to COVID but struggled to do so this week.
“The only good news, from what I hear, is that all county sports teams were able to play this weekend,” Adams said.
After the mayor’s information items, Larry Wright addressed the council during public forum.
Wright said there is a fire hydrant right on the corner of his driveway on Buena Vista Road which poses a problem for anyone going in and out at night. Wright said it is less than three feet from the driveway and he would like it to be moved before it gets hit.
“I’m sure if someone backed into it there would be a terrible mess,” Wright said.
Director of Public Works Jeff Harkins said there is a plan to fix it, but they are waiting on funding. Harkins said the project will be between 6000 to 7000 dollars and the pipe which will need to be cut in order to move the hydrant was made with asbestos.
“Because it’s got asbestos there is certain thigs that we have to do to make sure the asbestos doesn’t get airborne or contaminate the water,” Harkins said.
Mayor Adams told Wright they will get to it when they have the funds. Councilman Ted Kinney said reflectors should be put on the hydrant to make it more visible at night.
The council moved on to action items as Goshen Economic Development Community Development Director Sandy Hoehn and Goshen Economic Development Visitor Center Manager Moriah Brist addressed the board about a special permit and to waive the fee for the annual Safety Treat/Trunk or Treat.
The Goshen County Economic and Development Chamber (GED) is in charge of the event for the sixth year in a row. Brist said the GED team and the Torrington Police department will set up the barriers on Main Street from 23rd Avenue to 19th Avenue so city staff will not have to work overtime.
Brist added participants are encouraged to start at Points West Bank and move south in a clockwise flow toward Windmill Realty. Cars for the Trunk of Treat will be between 22nd Avenue and 21st Avenue.
“This will make it easier to walk and for businesses to hand out candy,” Brist said.
Masks will also be encouraged but not required.
Police Chief Matt Johnson said it’s a great event and the police department is happy to be involved.
The council approved the special event permit and waived the permit fee.
Adams then called for the council to convene as the Board of Adjustment to discuss a front yard setback variance request from 30 feet to 16 feet by Russ DeHaven of Future Plus Home Improvements.
DeHaven wants to build a porch on the property at 2018 East H Street which would be 16 feet away from the property line.
Torrington’s Building Official, Dennis Estes, reminded the council the property line ends 10 feet before the curb of the sidewalk and said there are no concerns about the porch interfering in the neighbor’s property. The neighbors have been informed of the project and have not expressed any concerns against it.
The council allowed for the public to speak on the issue but did not receive any comments. The council moved to a vote and approved the ordinance.
After reconvening the regular session, the board discussed the crack fill project for the 2022 fiscal year. The staff recommendation to the council was to approve the bid of $59,175.00 Highway Improvements of Sioux Falls, S.D.
Harkins said this year’s project will be a little bigger because there is no chip seal project in the works. The board approved the bid for the project.
Harkins also addressed the council about amending an original agreement on the well 16 ground water grant project. The well was dug out and pumped but recent tests show high levels of nitrates which equates to a 10 on the scale by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Harkins said they want to raise the pump a little in hopes of lowering the nitrate levels. According to Harkins, the two other pumps in the area have lower nitrate levels, so raising the pump could help.
“It’s hard to explain why a well that is in between these other two that’s pumping basically the same water out of the same aquafer is now at the 10 level,” Harkins said.
The council approved the project for $24,156.82. Harkins added they will use the remainder of the funding from the initial project on the pump as well.
The board also approved the adjustment of the budget for the previously mentioned project and to pay the bills from Sept. 8 to Sept 21.
Mayor Adams then opened up the floor for public comment. Torrington Volunteer Fire
Department Fire Chief Lance Petsch gave an update on the fire in Scottsbluff County. Petsch said there were no major injuries to the crew or the equipment. Petsch added the fire ban is still in effect and to be cautious and careful.
Petsch also said the new ladder truck is still on schedule and should be here in about three months.
The Torrington City Council will meet again on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m.