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City Council Discusses Variety of Agenda Items

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Sean Lirley and Wayne Stiles have both served on the City of Lamar Building Codes/Variance Boards in the past and the council voted to recommend their appointment for continued membership. On a similar matter, with the resignation of Howard Hobbs from the Lamar Utilities Board, a vacancy opened for his term expiring August 2018.    The LUB recommended Clifford Boxley to serve the remainder of the term and the council gave its approval on the selection.

After a brief discussion, the council authorized the salary range for the Custodian Classification from a Salary Range 6 to an 8 in keeping with recommendations made by Public Sector Personnel Consultants. The firm was hired by the city last year to perform a comprehensive salary review of employees and assess and update the City’s current compensation plan.  SR 6 is the city’s lowest paid regular full time position at $9.26 per hour, currently lower than some temporary seasonal employees, and these positions have seen a high turnover as well as an inability to attract quality candidates for the positions.  The increase will move the five employees to $10.21 per hour.

Lamar, by being a Colorado Main Street Community,is eligible for an annual $3,000 Main Street scholarship grant to assist Lamar Partnership Inc. Community Development Director, Angie Cue, said the funding will aid staff and volunteers to expand their knowledge of the Main Street ‘approach’ though seminars and webinars.  The council approved the scholarship request.

Lamar Fire Chief Jeremy Burkhart explained the benefits of using a third party billing company for EMS services. Burkhart said that with the increase in calls, ever-changing medical insurance regulations and extended time to bill and collect on a single patient, a search was conducted for a more efficient method of collecting bills for services.  Council authorized the use of EMS Billing Services of Omaha, Nebraska.

Kyle Miller, Lamar Police Chief, told the council he wanted to apply for the Victim’s Assistance and Law Enforcement VALE grant for 2017 through the District Attorney’s office. The funds would be used to provide ‘Victim Rights Act Notification’.  The department was granted $9K in 2016 and is asking for $12,806 for 2017.  He explained the funding will help the department offer support and notify residents who were victims of crime what their rights are as a victim and to be aware of the agencies that can offer assistance.  Chief Miller said he will go before the VALE board for approval and expected a reply by late November of the amount that was approved.

The council voted to continue the seasonal tradition to allow patrons to pay their fines at the Lamar Library with canned goods instead of money. Sarah McDonnell, Lamar Librarian, said one canned good will be the equivalent of $1.00.  She stipulated that the donation cannot be used for lost or damaged materials.  The food donations go to Sparrow House Ministries, a pantry serving Prowers County.

The City Council will have their informal breakfast meeting at the Lamar Community College cafeteria on Wednesday, November 2nd from 7am to 8am.  The public is invited to attend these monthly meetings to discuss issues of concern or to ask questions of their local city representatives.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarCollegeEconomyFeaturedLaw EnforcementUtilities

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