Vranish named police chief

Evanston Mayor Kent Williams swears in Michael Vranish as the city’s new chief of police during Tuesday night’s council meeting. A longtime law enforcement officer, Vranish was promoted from lieutenant to chief following Jon Kirby’s recent retirement. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — Mayor Kent Williams and members of the Evanston City Council began the July 6, meeting by thanking John Porter, owner of Porter’s Fireworks, for a wonderful fireworks display and also thanked the citizens of Evanston for abiding by the fireworks rules and practicing safety on the holiday.

An appreciation was also given to the Evanston Parks and Recreation District for the Fresh Air, Freedom and Fun event at Bear Meadows, which was well attended.

The official meeting began with a motion to appoint Lt. Mike Vranish as the City of Evanston Chief of Police, effective retroactively on July 4.

“This was a tough decision to make as I have a personal friendship with all of the applicants,” Williams said. “I asked the members of the city council to help me make the decision, and I thank them. I want to thank all of the applicants for their dedicated service.”

Councilman Evan Perkes told all the officers that the decision was difficult as all of the applicants demonstrate dedication and professionalism and he was impressed by all of them.

Council member Tib Ottley added, “The thing I was impressed by in the interviews with all three officers is how much they love the public, the police department and the work they do. They all do a wonderful job.”

A motion was then made and approved to appoint Vranish to succeed now-retired chief Jon Kirby as chief, and Mayor Williams swore in Vranish to his new post.

Vranish thanked the mayor and council. “I want to thank my parents and my wife, who support me and always stand behind me,” Vranish said. “Also, thank you to my fellow officers. This is a great community — I went to high school here, and this means a lot to me. Thank you all, and I will work hard to serve you.”

The rest of the meeting involved passing three consent agendas, one ordinance on third reading, a motion and eight resolutions.

A limited malt beverage permit was granted to the Uinta County Fair Board for the Uinta County Fair for the dates of August 4, 5, and 7.

An open container and street closure permit was granted to Rachel Reifon for the Brewfest afterparty on Saturday, July 17, on Main Street from 9th Street to Harrison Drive and 10th Street from Front Street to Main Street, from 5 p.m. to midnight.

A parade route was granted to Troy Huebner of Zone Five Racing for a bike race on Saturday, July 31, starting at 10:30 a.m. on Hwy 150 and continuing on Southridge, Saddle Ridge, City View, Cheyenne, Yellow Creek Road, and leaving Evanston city limits onto County Road 151, heading to Utah.

A request from Casey and Jana Hartzell for the city to annex property was approved with no changes to the ordinance on third and final reading.

Evanston Director of Public Works Gordon Robinson asked the council to approve the acceptance of the low bid of $263,465 after trade-in for the purchase of a new garbage truck from Peterbilt of Rock Springs. He said the truck would be ordered immediately upon approval but it may take a year to receive it due to current problems with acquiring supplies and equipment. Robinson’s request was approved.

The council approved Director of Planning and Engineering Dean Barker’s request to execute an agreement with Dave Norris Construction for the completion of the 2021 Street Overlay Project.

“This is our required annual maintenance. Norris is experienced and will do a good job,” Barker said.

Barker asked the council to approve a change order for that same project and explained that a WYDOT specialist had recommended a different type of asphalt, which would allow more pavement flexibility and workability. The change would create a price difference and lower the original bid by $6,630. The information came too late to include in the original bidding process, so Barker decided to ask for a change order, which the council approved.

The last six resolutions were all agreements for services contracted by the city.

The first resolution was presented by Treasurer Trudy Lym, asking the council to accept a quote from DFA, LLC, to provide the city with an actuary report to enable the city to make required Governmental Accounting Standards Board disclosures, which consists of figuring a city’s liabilities every year. 

Lym then asked the council to accept an agreement with JUB Engineers to complete the geographic information systems mapping of the cemetery. She explained that the work of putting the cemetery information online should be completed by the end of the summer.

Robinson presented an agreement with HACH Company for the annual calibration services for the water treatment plant, which had an increased cost of $500, and the city’s agreement with WYDOT to provide water for a State Highway 150 repair project.

Robinson told the Council that WYDOT is required to have an official agreement to buy water from the city for the project.

Chief Vranish then asked the council to authorize an agreement with the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police to provide compliance inspections on alcohol retailers to help prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under age 21 and to authorize the second agreement, providing compliance inspections on retail tobacco outlets to enforce laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors.

“These are annual contracts in order to utilize minors for these inspections,” Vranish said. “We have training for the participants scheduled for this Thursday.”

All of the above six resolutions for services and contracts were unanimously passed by the council.

The meeting ended with all department heads and those attending congratulating newly-appointed Chief Vranish.

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