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Council Takes Steps for Infrastructure Upgrades/Repairs

Municipal Offices in Lamar

Municipal Offices in Lamar

Following the council’s Monday night work session on February 6th, members decided to award a bid for a pool liner resurfacing project to RenoSys Corporation. The cost of installation of a PVC membrane lining for the entire pool is $101,816 which is considerably less than the $350,000 estimate from the firm currently doing business with the city.  The firm is from Leoti, KS and the council’s action is based in part on the number of testimonials received on behalf of the business following several reference checks.  Parks and Recreation Director, Rick Akers, told the council, “They offer a ten year warranty on their work compared to the 15 years offered by the other business, but at this new, lower cost, the pool could be repaired several times within those ten year periods and the city would still save on funds.”

The council approved a contract for future roof repairs to the Lamar Community Building. The city has been aware of various leaks with the severity of the problem greater at one time or another.  The roof over the gym is showing signs of wear and needs to be replaced.  However, the city has contacted JVA engineers to perform an assessment of the problem.  Although drips may occur in one area, the source of the leak may be from another location on the roof.  The analysis that will be performed will offer some assurance that the cost is in line with the repairs.  JVA recommended RoofTech Consultants from Golden, Colorado which submitted a bid of $4,480 for the study.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, said a rough estimate of repairs could cost as much as $150,000, “At that price we want to be sure we’re addressing the problem directly.”  Sutherland said leaks have been found in the front reception area and along the back hallway of the complex.

Since around 2004, sewer gases have been evident in the area of the intersection of South 14th Street and Prosperity Lane.  Several years ago the city had a scrubber system constructed at the southwest edge of McKorkle Field to help alleviate the problem, but to no avail.  In an effort to further reduce the noxious odors, the city has enlisted JVA, Incorporated for engineering services to resolve the sewer gas and odor problems within the City’s sanitary sewer system.  Pat Mason, Lamar Public Works Director, outlined the goals following a review and evaluation of the Prosperity Water and Sanitation District force main and provided alternatives to the problem that develops from the force water main when it discharges into the city’s system.  This includes reducing the amount of water used to dilute the wastewater within the force main; reduce odor and sewer gas issues within the sewer system; protect the city’s sewer system from corrosive gases and determine a cost effective solution to the overall problem.  Mason told the council, “Part of the problem is that this system doesn’t provide enough force from the airport to clear completely.  We’ve tried chlorine gas to help the problem, but it didn’t make a difference and we’ve added 200,000 gallons of water over a month to clear the mains, but unfortunately it didn’t offer any solution either for lowering the gas levels.”  He added, “We might need to install a mini-treatment system along the Prosperity Lane route to help it get to our city system.”  Mason said the hydrogen sulfide gases are so toxic that a test monitor only lasted three days when exposed to the gas before it began to corrode.  “Concrete will begin to crumble like a cookie after prolonged exposure and I’m afraid this could impact our infrastructure if it goes unattended for a long time.” The estimated cost for the services is $16,000.  Mason offered that the Prosperity Lane Association members could be contacted to see if any grant funding would be available with the overall costs.  The council approved the funding request for the study and recommendations.

A grant application of $8,700 was approved by the council to help fund the Lamar Library’s, Growing Readers Together program. Librarian Sarah McDonnell said the Lamar library is one of 14 piloting the grant.  The program helps libraries develop methods to reach out to un-licensed, informal early childhood care providers and provide a safe platform to provide early literacy and child development skills and resources.  In Colorado, approximately 50% or more of children under the age of six are in non-license care with family, friends and neighbors.  The program urges partnerships with the childcare providers.

A grant was approved to fund a replacement for a Cardiac Monitor/Defibrillator using matching funds from the City of Lamar budget. If approved, the grant will be used to purchase upgrades to the current Physio-Control Lifepacks used by local EMTs.  This grant will be for one of the six currently in use by the Lamar Fire and Ambulance Department.  The cost is $30,168 and the city’s match would be $15,084.  The grants are awarded in June through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Judge Kim Verhoeff’s contract with the City of Lamar as the Municipal Court Judge was extended on a month by month basis while the city begins to advertise for candidates for the seat. She was appointed by the council for a two year period in November 2014 and began her term in January, 2015.  Mayor Roger Stagner suggested this would be the best course of action to follow and that it would also produce a working contract between the city and the future judge.  Jane Felter was re-appointed to the Lamar Tree Board for a three year term expiring in March 2020.  The council approved a housekeeping measure which allows members of the Lamar Utility Board of City Treasurer to sign its own checks in the absence of the City Clerk.  The council approved the mayor’s signature for a contract between the city and a compensation statement for the Benefit Broker Gallagher Benefit.  The council ratified a verbal poll regarding a security agreement between the city and Lamar Community College for services for a basketball game.  The council approved an agreement between the Lamar Police Department and Domestic Safety Resources Center which will allow the center to offer immediate services to victims of various forms of domestic abuse for spouses and children, dating violence and stalking.  The council approved a fertilizer supply contract with BMS, one of several firms providing bids for the annual agreement.  BMS had the lowest local bid at $7.637.50 for two fertilizer applications in one year.

John Sutherland reviewed several events on the community calendar including: the Annual High Plains Snowgoose Festival set for February 16-19; the Bent County Regional Transit Plan at the SOS Center from noon to 2pm on Friday, February 17th; the Lamar Chamber Customer Service Workshop on February 23rd from 9am to Noon at the Chamber; The Hemp Roadshow on Saturday, February 25th from 1pm to 4pm at the LCC Trustees Building; the 2017 Eastern Colorado Community Forestry Conference on Thursday, March 2nd from 8:30am to 3:30pm at the Lamar Community Building and a reminder that city offices will be closed for President’s Day, Monday, February 20th.

By Russ Baldwin

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