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Lamar Council Okays Vehicle Purchases for Fire & Public Works Departments

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The city’s Sanitation Department was given the go-ahead by the city council to piggy-back a bid with the City of Montrose for a 2016 Scorpion Automated Refuse Truck. The truck costs $247,224 and has been budgeted in the 2016 Capital Improvement Fund at $250,000.  The council authorized another $2,000 for a five year extended warranty on the vehicle which collects trash from about 4,000 customers each week. The city purchased a similar model in 2012 and has had exceptional reliability with it.

The Lamar Fire Department was granted a lease purchase/finance agreement for the purchase of a 2010 Pierce Saber 75’Ladder Demo Truck from Front Range Fire Apparatus. The vehicle has 16,000 miles from being driven to various test shows across the country.  After inspection from Chief Burkhart at the manufacturing site, the truck will be given warranties as an as-new vehicle.  The lease agreement with Valley National Bank was for 10 years.

Several pieces of City of Lamar equipment will be available in an upcoming Civic Auction. Several departments have accumulated vehicles, equipment and scrap items that the city won’t use either because of high mileage or they would need expensive repairs. Civis Auctions are organizing a government surplus sale for the Lamar area.  Revenues from the Lamar city sales would be deposited into the appropriate fund.

Work needed to develop the proposed Pocket Park along South Main Street in Lamar will receive $75,000 funding from DOLA’s EIAF Tier 1 matching grant. The 50/50 funding match is comprised of $50,000 from the Lamar Redevelopment Authority Board and $25,000 from the Healthy Places Initiative.  These funds will help develop the area between Shore Arts Center and Daylight Donuts into a community focal point for shopping at stores in downtown Lamar.

The city is receiving funding from two sources to pay for the cost of replacing the water distribution and storm water collection infrastructure under Main Street in Lamar. The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.2 million.  A funding commitment of $1.6 million has been awarded from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority and $1.6 million from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.  The work is expected to begin later this summer along Main Street in Lamar.

A portion of the CDOT Main Street project requires replacing curb and gutter along the roadway. CDOT will design and install new ADA sidewalk access ramps at the intersections along the repaired route.  The city approved easements requested by CDOT for the work space needed for the upgrades.  The areas are the northeast corner of Main and Park Street; the northeast corner of Main and Beech Street; the southeast corner of Main and the BNSF Railroad crossing.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, explained that this development will offer the city an opportunity to have the correct version of the ADA ramps installed as they currently are not within prescribed codes.

A memorandum of understanding between the City of Lamar, Lamar Community College and Domestic Safety Resource Center was ratified following a phone poll by council members. The agreement calls for the Lamar Police Department to provide training or make training available to LCC Campus Staff and provide emergency response when it becomes necessary.  The initiative calls for a more effective prevention campaign regarding violence against women issues on the LCC campus and a training schedule on violence against women issues for law enforcement, faculty, students and staff.

A second phone poll was ratified authorizing the City of Lamar to accept an engagement letter from the consulting firm of Barr Engineering Company. The firm is being hired to evaluate the Lamar Repowering Project execution approach during the contracting and construction of the coal fired plant.

The council voted to accept a $10,000 grant from the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund which was applied for by Animal Shelter Manager, Stephanie Spitz. The funds will continue the spaying and neutering project for adopted or transferred dogs instituted by the city last year.  The money will help fund the project in the community through March, 2017.  The Shelter received $7,500 last year.  Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, said a portion of the funding can be applied to emergency care for the dogs due to illnesses or injuries.

The city’s agreement with the Prowers County Department of Human Services was continued for another year. It provides services to the department with the implementation of the Community Working Experience Program.  TANF, Temporary Aid to Needy Families clients, are given real work experience by the city.  Through various city jobs, clients can gain hands on experience to achieve future, long-term employment.

The city is continuing to demolish derelict buildings in town that constitute a danger to the public safety. Owners have been given notice at 508 and 510 West Oak to demolish the properties and no action has been taken after 30 days.  The council passed a resolution authorizing the city attorney to initiate action in Prowers County Court to have the buildings taken down and debris removed with the cost to be assessed against the said real property.  A similar resolution was passed for properties at 500, 502 and 504 North 11th Street.  The city has taken care to make certain that all involved parties are fully apprised of developments in the potential demolition.

Pat Mason, City Public Works Director, explained that the city made some much needed improvements to a broken storm drainage pipe along Washington and North 7th Streets, connecting to the wastewater lift station.  “Portions of the street had begun to cave in which indicated a leak,” Mason explained, stating that the problem was about 17 feet deep in some sections and there were instances where the 51 foot length of pipe was completely closed off to running water because of a build-up of debris.  Some excavation work began this past July and was recently completed using the services of Layne Inliner Company.  A seven-layered tube of plastic fiber as long as the broken pipe was inserted into the line and a hardening solution of lightweight resin epoxy coated the tube.  It was expanded with water to fit flush against the broken pipe resulting in a new and stronger inner coating once the epoxy hardened after about 24 hours.  “It was a difference in cost of $38,000 versus $250,000 for repairs,” Mason told the council.

The council approved on first reading, an ordinance authorizing a $101,000 loan from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to pay for repurposing two wells into municipal use for the golf course and Fairmount Cemetery.  The City will have 10 years to repay the loan that carries a 1.95% interest rate.  Another ordinance had its first reading during the March 14th meeting which alters the Open Estates zoning regulation prohibiting the storage of propane tanks on properties in the zoned area.  The council approved the reading at the request of Prowers Medical Center which needs storage tanks to maintain electrical services from a back-up generator.

By Russ Baldwin

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