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City Holds Public Hearings for Land Annexation and Motel Room Tax

Municipal Offices in Lamar

Municipal Offices in Lamar

Two, brief public hearings were held by the Lamar City Council Monday, June 12th, and both should have a lasting impact on the local economy for years to follow.

The council approved an ordinance promoting a 5% motel room sales tax. Voters will be able to decide in the upcoming November election if the measure will pass.  If approved, a 5% sales tax will be added to the bill for any motel/hotel room in the City of Lamar.  Pat Palmer, one of the proponents of the ordinance, explained that the tax funds will be used to hire a full-time events coordinator who will be responsible for bringing various events and conventions to the city.  The funds will also be used for regular business needs such as office space and business equipment.  The tax funds are expected to generate about $250,000 a year.

The second public hearing cleared the way for the annexation of the T.L. Tucker property just north of the Lamar Canal and east of Main Street in Lamar. The land will be used as a truck stop for the Pilot Travel Center, a nationwide concern which has business interests in 45 states.  The construction is estimated to begin in July and should be completed by mid-September.  Principals in the project said from 25 to 30 full time jobs would be created for the 24/7 operation.

In other action, the council approved the re-appointment of Shannon Venturi to the Lamar Housing Authority Board for a five year term expiring in June, 2022.

Two phone polls were ratified by the council; the first was for authorization of $16,142.70 for Authentic Drilling for four monitoring wells at the Lamar Landfill. The second was to authorize a submission application to the state 2017/2018 REDI (Rural Economic Development Initiative) program for $50,000.

A renewal agreement between Lamar Community College and the Lamar Fire and Ambulance Department was signed by the Mayor. The college uses the department’s services for EMT students to complete their required Clinical Rotations.  The city’s emergency services uses the college’s EMT program to train future and current members to the EMT-B and EMT-1 level.

The council, City Administrator, John Sutherland and City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, discussed the 2018 budget calendar for the city. This sets a series of discussions and deadlines needed to produce the city’s budget for the approaching year.  Bike to Work day will be held Wednesday, June 21st at the Lamar Community Building with breakfast served between 7am and 8am.

The council closed the meeting with an executive session to discuss negotiations pertaining to the ARPA litigation.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarCollegeConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEducationFeaturedHot TopicsPublic SafetyTourismTransportationUtilities

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