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Lamar Council Discusses Employee Banking Options, Fee Reductions

Lamar City Council

Lamar City Council

The Lamar City Council wrapped up September with a brief meeting on Monday, September 26th with only a few items on the agenda.

The council approved an engagement letter with the accounting firm, Holscher, Mayberry and Company for an independent, annual audit of the city’s finances. The recommendation for the proposal from the company to extend their services through 2020 was approved.

On another brief financial matter, the council discussed a suggestion to offer a Direct Check Card for city employees for direct deposit of their payroll if they desire. City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, explained that total or partial salaries can be deposited to the card which can be used as a debit card for purchases.  The stipulations include one free draw per week from a teller at any bank and the card is usable from any business that accepts Visa or it can be used at ATMs, as well as online tracking of account balances.  McCrea said the card is offered from a bank in Garden City, Kansas which has sufficient size to cover these kinds of transactions.  When asked by councilman Kirk Crespin if this was also available from local banks, McCrea said she had contacted them, but they did not offer all the particular services.  The council took no action, pending a review to determine if any of the local Lamar banks would be able to match the offers outlined by McCrea and the matter would be brought back for discussion during the October 10th meeting.

The council approved the recommendation to provide ambulance discount fees for future games for Lamar High School varsity and junior varsity football games through the season. A similar request from the RE-2 school district was granted for the previous season.  Ambulance fees for the LCC rodeo this weekend were also approved.   Five stand-bys are scheduled between September 30 to October 2 and this follows the agreement provided by the city for last year’s rodeo at the college.  Treasurer McCrea said these requests would be considered as non-profit for next year’s consideration which automatically allows a discount to be applied.  She said this would save time for all parties who have to make the request and appear before the council for consideration.

The council followed the arguments of the Colorado Municipal League and their risk advisor company, CIRSA, against passage of Amendment 69 which would amend the state constitution to create a Coloradocare healthcare payment system to finance universal healthcare for Colorado residents.   The amendment seeks to stem rising costs on healthcare by creating a single-payer system by establishing a $25 billion tax increase.  The funding would come from a 10% income tax that would be paid two-thirds by employers and one-third by employees.  The system is intended to replace the medical care portion of workers’ compensation insurance and would generate funds to pay for health care services regardless of a patient’s illness or injury.

City Administrator John Sutherland noted some approaching calendar events for the fall including the council’s informal monthly breakfast, Wednesday October 5th from 7am to 8am at Taco Johns on South Main Street and the annual Farm-City Banquet set for Saturday, November 12th.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeatured

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