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Council Approves Replacement Equipment for Fire Department

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The council authorized the purchase of a breathing air compressor with fill station for the Lamar Fire Department. Chief Burkhart explained that the current model, now 21 years old, has a failed compressor and will no longer charge the breathing apparatus used by the department.  The item, estimated at $51,502 is not a budgeted item for this year, but city treasurer, Kristin McCrea, said the money can be taken from the general capital fund.  Burkhart said the unit is adaptable to fill scuba tanks or other breathing equipment and other departments from the area fill their equipment using Lamar’s.  He said just before it quit working, the amount of time to charge the department’s apparatus had doubled from four to eight hours as the compressor’s performance continued to decrease.

Rick Robbins, President of Prowers County Development Incorporated recommended the appointment of Angie Cue, Lamar Community Development Manager to a voting seat on PCDI as a new director. Robbins explained that prior to this point; Cue has always attended the PCDI meetings in her Community Development position and would serve the city as its direct representative to the economic development organization.  Robbins added that any financial contribution to PCDI, or the lack of one, from the city would not be a factor in the board’s decision to add her as a member.  The city council approved her appointment.  Debra Vigue was also approved by the council to serve on the Victims and Witnesses Assistance Law Enforcement (VALE) Board with her term ending in August, 2019.

An ordinance, 10-4-60 (c)(1), which prohibits loitering for the purpose of panhandling within city limits was repealed by the council as a preventative measure against future lawsuits. A higher court ruling has declared such ordinances to be unconstitutional as a violation of the right of free speech.  Some groups have engaged in the practice of suing communities that enforce this type of ordinance in their municipal code for the purpose of winning large financial settlements.  Mayor Roger Stagner explained that a beggar cannot aggressively seek money from someone on a sidewalk, nor can they block your progress, but they are within their legal bounds to stand and panhandle from passers-by.

The annual request from the Prowers County Sand and Sage Fair Board for a reduction in ambulance stand-by fees for their August activities was approved by the council. The ambulance is on duty at the fairgrounds during rodeo events which will run five times from August 5th to the 13th.

The council renewed the annual agreement between the City of Lamar and State of Colorado for the operation of the Lamar Welcome Center. The $54,696 covers the manager’s salary and benefits amounting to $26,000; $20,000 for operations; $7,196 for volunteer enhancement and $1,500 for annual travel expenses.  This is the same amount as last year.

A name change on a land title agreement between the City and KLMR Radio was approved. The lease is for the station’s FM tower in the City’s well-field tower site south of town.  The current lease remains in effect until 2019 when it will be up for a ten year renewal.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, noted several future community meetings including a public meeting regarding a design presentation for the Lamar Loop from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Monday, July 25th at the Cultural Events Center.  A cornerstone laying ceremony for the new LCC dorm is scheduled for 10am at the site on Friday, July 29th.
By Russ Baldwin

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