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Expanded Beer Garden Approved for Oktoberfest

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The public hearing for the requested Oktoberfest beer garden detailed an expanded area, encompassing about two-thirds of the Lamar Chamber of Commerce parking lot for the September 24th event.  In past years, the beer garden was located under a tent, adjacent to the stage by the Enchanted Forest.  This year’s proposal, as outlined by Chamber President Vickie Dykes and Lisa Carder, Chamber office manager, would place the beer drinking area within the confines of a fence that would run from the old locomotive up to the chamber offices, east to the beer garden serving area and then south to the edge of the parking lot and back west along the sidewalk that borders the train display.  The proposed fence line would not interfere with the Welcome Center’s visitors.

“Vendors would have the option of being either inside the fenced area or stay on the outside if they prefer,” explained Dykes, who added that this way, people would be free to move about the display areas, have their family with them if they want, and have a beer while they were enjoying their meal instead of having to stay next to the stage during the Oktoberfest. “Because it’s a larger area, we will have two entrances to the parking lot and we will have more security checking to make sure underage attendees aren’t getting served nor have someone give them a beer,” added Carder.  She explained that the beer will be served only in a recognizable cup and people will be carded for a wrist band when they purchase their beer tickets and when they go to redeem them for a beverage at the serving area.  “We also plan to have more people go through the TIPS training program before the event,” she told the council.  Pastor Galen Burnett spoke in opposition to the beer garden, distributing a one page information sheet issued by CDOT which condensed a three minute psa video into statistics relating to breath alcohol content from one to three 16 ounce beers.  It noted that 77 people are arrested in the state each day for DUI related instances and one third of traffic fatalities in Colorado are alcohol related.  Carder pointed out that the local county bus service, PATS, would be available using SDS volunteers to transport anyone from the Oktoberfest location. After some deliberation, the council approved the Chamber’s request on a unanimous vote.

Two zoning issues were presented to the council by Craig Brooks, Chief Building Official. One approval allowed the re-zoning of property at 304 East Beech Street to be changed from C-2 Commercial, to I-2 Industrial, to allow for a garage to be built on the property.  The second allowed the request to vacate a 20 foot easement for two lots located in Woodland Park.  Public hearings on the requests were conducted earlier by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission which approved the requests and forwarded them to the city council for action.

A three year, $19,000 per year intergovernmental agreement between the city and the Lamar School District was approved and renewed to 2019. There was only a change in dates for the agreement which outlines the use of the ballpark complex, Merchant’s Park, indoor batting facility and use of the Lamar Community Building for related school events.

Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Director, briefly reviewed the newly developed incentive pamphlet which offers guidelines for economic business incentives for new business ventures in the city. The incentives consist of potential tax breaks and government investments which can lead to job growth for Lamar.  Cue said there are some details in the graphics which are being proposed by SECED before the pamphlets go to print.

As a safeguard to roadways and access to the city’s lagoon complex east of Lamar, the council approved an agreement with Prowers Aggregate Operators, LLC which prohibits the company from operating or hindering road access to the lagoons north of their mining operations and 200 feet from the gravel mining.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, informed the council of the department’s intention to destroy abandoned or unclaimed found property that has been kept by the department for a year. Miller said this is a standard procedure for clearing the shelves of the property which has consisted mainly of broken cell phones, wallets, keys or some assorted clothing.  The council also approved a new, three year term on the VALE board for RoseAnn Yates, as outlined by Chief Miller.

The next several weeks are busy with events as outlined by Administrator John Sutherland. The annual Lamar Hospice Backyard Bash is set for August 27th at the Lamar Eagles Lodge, City Offices will be closed September 5th for Labor Day, but the council will hold a work session on Tuesday, the 6th and the informal monthly breakfast will be held at Becky’s Restaurant on the 7th from 7 to 8am.  The Fall Festival will be held on Friday, September 9th in downtown Lamar and the Tri State 9/11 Tribute Parade and events will start at 10am on the 10th.  The second annual Red-White and Blue Patriot run will also be held that afternoon at Willow Creek Park.  A benefit dinner for the VanCampen family will be held beginning at 6pm the evening of the 10th at the Lamar Elks Lodge and reservations are urged.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEntertainmentEventsFeaturedLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyTourismTransportation

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