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Council Considers ARPA Agreement

 

The Lamar City Council tabled Resolution 18-03-01 for the issuance of refunding bonds by the Arkansas River Power Authority until additional contract information included in the Preliminary Official Statement can be reviewed. The council set March 19th as an additional meeting date to review the documents which will be sent to them as of March 13th.  ARPA General Manager, Rick Rigel, has been visiting ARPA’s six member communities, explaining the financial benefits that can be derived by refunding the $143M in construction bonds used to re-finance the Lamar Repowering Project.  Rigel has stated that from $700,000 to $900,000 could be saved by refinancing the debt when the bonds are sold and those savings will enable ARPA to hold their wholesale rates they charge to the Lamar Utility Board stable for the next several years.  The sale will not shorten the span of repayment on the bonds, now set at 2043.  “Right now, Holly and Springfield have approved the three sections of contract for bond re-funding,” he explained.  Rigel said he will meet with the La Junta Power Board for their recommendations to the La Junta City Council next week, he’s meeting with Las Animas on the 13th and with Trinidad on March 20th.  Rigel said the next ARPA meeting will be held March 29th for a decision to have the bonds put up for sale in April.

Camp and Currell Construction was the lowest bidder of the six who responded to the city’s advertisement for hazardous materials abatement for the former Troy Motel at 1101 South Main Street in Lamar.   The project will be financed through a Colorado Department of Health and Environment 1306 Brownfields Clean-up grant for the abatement work on the derelict property.  The grant application stipulates that at least three actual bids are sent to the city for selection.  The project is valued at $152,359 and is expected to take a minimum of 52 days.  No formal action will be taken on bidding until the city has been awarded the grant, according to John Sutherland, Lamar City Administrator.

Mayor Roger Stagner signed a memorandum of understanding with Domestic Safety Resource Center as presented to the Lamar City Council by Police Chief Kyle Miller and Kathy McCorkle from the Center. The MOU outlined the requirements of agreement between both parties to ensure victims of crimes against a person have the opportunity to receive assistance from DSRC in terms of food, shelter and crisis intervention.  The Center is also providing training for officers of the Lamar Police Department to assist victims of these crimes.

The council approved an annual request from the Sand and Sage Round-up, Wild West BBQ committee, to allow an overnight parking permit for contestants during the May 10-12th event.  The Police Department has been contracted to provide overnight security for the BBQ May 11th through the 12th, and an off-duty officer will be available from 11pm to 7am at a rate of $35 per hour for $280.  The department will also provide its services for the annual After-Prom Committee from 12am to 3am on April 22nd for $210.

A phone poll was ratified by the council, approving the project agreement between the City of Lamar and Lamar RE-2 School District for their portion of the GoCO Inspire Grant. Craig Brooks, Lamar’s Chief Building Official, said now that the grant has been signed and the city is in possession of the funds, construction plans can precede.  “We will contact the company to get the construction plans finalized and we’ll also need to have a geo-tech study done on the soil beforehand,” he explained.  He added that there is an outside possibility that if all goes well, it will take around 150 days to complete the project and it may be open for an exhibition by late May or early June.

Lamar is working towards developing a community theater production company. Susan Lathrop, Lamar Librarian, told the council as many as two dozen people expressed an interest in starting a production company to stage plays and other entertainment.  She explained the group will be working as a non-profit with the Southeast Colorado Arts Guild towards securing a $10,000 grant application to finance future activities.  The council said they would sign a letter of support to assist with the grant and theater development.

The council will also write a letter in support of state legislation being introduced by senators Sonnenburg and Crowder to exempt vehicles hauling agricultural commodities from clearing a port of entry in some circumstances. Rick Robbins, General Manager of Colorado Mills, explained that vehicles hauling ag commodities within five miles of a port of entry, must stop and check in.  He stated this is an unnecessary move as the vehicle coming to his operation in Lamar, must first drive west to the port and then turn around on Highway 50 to make the drive back to his location.  Robbins believes this extra time spent in the process, is curtailing the development of commercial operations in this region of the state.

Brian David Estes was appointed by the council to the Adjustment and Appeals Board to serve out the term of the late Larry Eberhardt until July, 2020.

By Russ Baldwin

 

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedHistoryHot TopicsThe ArtsTourismTransportationUtilities

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