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Lamar City Council Briefed on Summer Car/Music Event for Downtown

 

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August 17-18 has been selected to showcase Prowers Partners for Progress ‘DCCE’, Downtown Custom and Classic Expo, a car show what will be held in Lamar. Originators, Chris Duffy and Trevor La Cost briefed the council on what the show will offer.  Their website reads, “The DCCE is a large outdoor car show and live music festival featuring vintage hot rods and custom vehicles driven here from all over the country.  Our intent is that this annual show will become an annual pilgrimage to Lamar for folks from all over the world.  Held on the streets of downtown Lamar, the DCCE is a unique celebration of cars, culture and music that just has to be experienced in person.”  La Cost said they expected about 300 cars to be represented at the show which has been planned for the past 18 months.  There was some concern about the volume of pedestrian traffic crossing East Olive Street and the number of parked cars that would have to be accommodated in the downtown area.  La Cost said, in a way, that problem would be a good one to have, indicating a large turnout.  He said some arrangements are also being made to shift some of the parking to the West Beech Street area as well as working with PATS to provide transportation to and from the site at Shore Arts Center.

LCC President, Dr. Linda Lujan noted that enrollment is growing at the college. “Enrollment is up again this semester by 6.15% from last spring and full-time equivalent student enrollment is up by 9.24%,” she said.  Asked how many more students the college could accommodate by councilman Riley, she replied about 250 more.  “We had a total of 996 students last year and could probably accommodate as many as 1,500 with considerable pre-planning on our part.  We would see a significant impact on our daily life including parking, housing, faculty and staff with that many additional students.”

Lujan said John Sutherland, Lamar City Administrator, has joined the President’s Circle at the college. The group of 30 individuals is comprised of advisors from the four counties associated with LCC and represents education, local government and industry.  Lujan added that state legislation, backed by the Colorado Community College System, will advance baccalaureate degrees in nursing within the system.  She explained that when passed the legislation will aid those students who wish to remain in their current college instead of having to transfer to complete their studies, “Only a third of LCC graduates complete their baccalaureate and around half of those students must attend an out of state school to finish.”

Kathy McCorkle provided an update on activities by the Domestic Safety Resource Center, noting last year’s services. The organization provides services to victims of domestic violence, sex assault and stalking in Prowers, Baca, Kiowa and Cheyenne Counties and the 20,000 residents in the 15th Judicial District in southeast Colorado.  “Last year, we provided services to 191 different individuals.  Of those 26 were from Baca County, eight from Cheyenne, nine from Kiowa and 136 from Prowers and eight from outside our service area and four that were unreported.  Of those 191 people the major victimization had four adult sex assault victims, 12 child abuse reports, 170 domestic violence cases and five stalking.  Most have more than one victimization event, but I could bury you in numbers, so I just provided the one victimization.  For 2018, I’m working on a program valuation for our law enforcement handouts.”  McCorkle said if a victim doesn’t want to respond immediately the police departments issues them and the victim can contact us when they are ready.  She noted the evaluation will see how we can make the program get better and identify future training opportunities.

The council adopted a proclamation declaring February 2018 as General Aviation Appreciation Month, initiated by Alliance for Aviation Across America, a non-profit coalition of over 6,300 individuals, business and agriculture groups, FBO’s, small airports helping to raise awareness about the general value of small airports particularly in rural areas. Their goal is to help educate communities across the country about the benefits of general aviation.  The proclamation states that Colorado has 61 public use airports and 68 fixed-base operators serving 17,583 pilots in the state and contributing over $2.4 billion to the state’s economy.

The council gave permission to the Lamar Fire and Emergency Services to apply for a CDPHE EMTS provider grant to replace one ambulance from the fleet. Lamar Fire Chief Jeremy Burkhart explained the total amount of the grant is $247,273 which will be a 50% cash match.  The city’s portion will be $123,636.  The Fire Department intends to replace a 1995 model which has had substantial engine problems.  The grant will also cover the cost to replace the end of life patient stretcher and end of life cardiac monitor defibrillator.

Police Chief Miller requested to lease with purchase options, three 2018 Dodge 4X4 crew cab 1500 pick-ups for $25,919 each with a total price of $77,757. They will replace older vehicles currently in use.  Following a review, Chief Miller selected Valley National Bank with the best quote of 3.49% interest for five years with annual payments amounting to $17,217 for all three vehicles.  Mayor Roger Stagner and Chief, Kyle Miller, administered the oath of office to William Pritchett as the city’s newest officer.

Officer William Pritchett

While still awaiting the signed grant contract with GoCO for the funding needed to begin construction of the skateboard park in Lamar, City Code Inspector, Craig Brooks, presented the council with a proposed agreement for the park. The agreement covers the Lamar Design Build Proposal, the Owner-Contractor Agreement and General Conditions between Owner-Contractor, Team Pain.  Brooks said the city has been award the GoCO grant which will provide funds for the project expected to begin this summer and will be concluded by August.  Brooks said the date has been pushed back over delays with the grant for the funds to finance the construction, adding, “We can’t spend a penny until we receive the signed contract from GoCO.”

City Attorney, Garth Nisechburg, was given the go-ahead to file a lawsuit in Prowers County Court for breach of contract against former Lamar Police Officer Thomas Dunagan. The suit claims Mr. Dunagan did not fulfill his obligations in an agreement between him and the city in which the city sponsored him in the Law Enforcement Academy in return for employment for 36 months.  The city will file a claim against the outstanding amount of tuition costs.  Councilmember Gerry Jenkins voted no and Rafael Rodriguez abstained due to his professional relationship with Dunagan.

The council approved the agreement for law enforcement and security services for 2018 for the Lamar High School for after hour events. This is an annual agreement which runs from January through December with fees ranging between $35 per officer up to $70 per hour for holidays.

Following a public hearing, the council delayed approving a 3.2% beer license for Pilot Travel Center # 1052 in Lamar. Police Chief Miller said there had been a delay in sending the owner’s fingerprints to the CBI as part of the approval process and the council voted to delay the approval pending receipts of the fingerprints.  Councilmember Oscar Riley voted against approving the license.  City Clerk Linda Williams stated that the Pilot organization has its own in-house training system similar to TIPS for serving alcohol, but is geared more to the prevention of beer sales to minors.

Kaye Hainer was appointed to the Library Advisory Board for another term. Don Higbee was re-appointed to an expired term on the city’s Advisory Water Board, ending in 2023.

The council approved the Mayor signature on the Client Coverage Acknowledgement and Compensation Statement between the City of Lamar and Gallagher Benefits Services, Inc.

The council approved an amendment to the City of Lamar’s Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Policy.   The license holder will now be evaluated for more controlled substances than before, due to the Department of Transportation regulation change.  The word ‘opiates’ is being replaced by ‘opioids’ which now includes synthetic versions of the drug.

Administrator Sutherland announced that offices for the City of Lamar will be closed on Monday, February 19th, President’s Day.

The council adjourned into executive session for advice relating to future negotiated issues. The next council meeting will be Monday, February 26, at 7pm.

By Russ Baldwin

 

 

 

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