South Torrington annexation not moving forward

TORRINGTON – After much debate, the city of Torrington has decided not to annex the neighborhood south of city limits at this time.

With the debate surrounding how best to solve issues such as animals off leash, broken down vehicles parked too close to the road and frequent speeding, annexation has been suggested frequently as a solution. With limited resources servicing the entire county, officials say it has been difficult to maintain constant surveillance in South Torrington.

In order to annex the neighborhood into city limits, both the city and the neighborhood landowners would need to agree to the terms of the annexation. As residents and landowners in South Torrington have not voiced their support of the annexation and the city has no desire to force annexation upon them, it will not be moving forward until such a time where all parties are in agreeance.

The Goshen County Commissioners have been in talks with Albert Lira, a former South Torrington resident who often acts as liaison for the current residents and county officials. The work is slow-going, but Lira said progress has been made to clean up
the streets.

To brighten up the neighborhood in the meantime, residents are looking to replace old equipment in the South Torrington Children’s Park. The funds to replace pea gravel and the manpower to take out old equipment would cost the Commission about $1,000. The funds to install new equipment could cost anywhere from $24,000 to $34,000 according to a report on the project from a year ago. Those funds would come from the Goshen County Rec Board.

A year ago, City of Torrington Project Manager Mark Weis presented the request to the Goshen County Commission for the initial $1,000 to replace the pea gravel. He offered to submit the request for the additional funds to the Rec Board, but the money was denied due to a budget “worse than we’ve ever seen it before,” as GCC Chairman John Ellis said during the meeting last year, asking for time to discuss it with the rest of the commission before giving a final answer.

The additional money would go to replacing other equipment such as the swing set and hex dome. The county would also install a camera nearby to provide 24/7 surveillance in and near the park. Assuming the initial funds are approved, the Goshen County Rec Board will oversee the disbursal of the remaining funds.

The annexation debate has gone on for several years, and polls and surveys have consistently shown landowners and residents alike have little to no desire to become
city residents.

“We have a policy that we don’t annex [areas] that resist or do not want to be annexed,” Torrington Mayor Randy Adams said. “If we get to a point where 50% of those people want to annex then certainly, we will consider it and we will certainly move on but not until that time.”


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