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Lamar Redevelopment Authority Discusses Incentive Agreements

Shore Arts Center Park

 

The Lamar Redevelopment Authority, meeting prior to the regular City Council on Monday, October 8th, approved a memorandum of agreement with the DCI Colorado Community Revitalization Association.  DCI, Downtown Colorado Incorporated provides guidance for revitalizing the local economy of communities in the state, focusing on developing community-wide partnerships aimed at growing economic vitality.  Lamar has been a member of DCI for numerous years.  This past spring, Lamar was awarded a Challenge Studio, a two-day workshop focusing on Lamar’s lack of civic engagement and community pride.  This new agreement is a continuance of the Challenge which will host a Downtown Institute for property owners and merchants pertaining to civic pride and development of vacant property in Lamar.  The council questioned Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Manager, about the fee hike for this year.  Previously the city paid $1,000, however the fee discussed was $7,500 which Cue said would cover on-going training seminars for the Authority Board members as well as weekly conference calls and the workshop itself.  City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, added that the payment could be paid out in 2019 under ‘pre-paid expenses’ budget items from 2018.

Cue explained to the Authority that the Shore Arts Center Park has completed Phase I and II of its construction and is entering the third phase which includes shade structures to provide cover for future events in the downtown park. The Authority had questions in three areas regarding the structure and costs, and tabled their approval for the quote of $24,945 for three cantilever umbrella structures which will span the open areas above the park.  The shade coverings measure 20 by 20 by 12 feet each and will be placed above the park where most visitors will be located.  Once they had received answers regarding wind tolerance/ratings, a manufacturer’s warranty and costs of engineering sealed drawings, they would take action at a future Authority Board meeting.

The Authority reviewed three economic development Incentive Agreements for varying sums including the Quality Inn at 1202 North Main which was upgraded in 2016-17 from a Super 8 Motel. The amount of the incentive is based upon the actual increase in sales tax receipts compared to the Base Period Average (2013-2015)  received by the City of Lamar following the redevelopment of the property.  The amount in question is $7,249 for the next ten years which was derived from the formula.  The Authority added the agreement must include verified upgrades to the property year by year to maintain the incentives.  They include a paved parking lot, sidewalks and curb and gutters around the property.

The Authority approved a development incentive agreement of $8,920 for Wild West Athletics which has been in operation at 110 North Main Street since 2008. The owners, Joette and Cody DuVall have made Improvements to the interior of the building over the years and are planning to use these funds for façade updates on the front and back entrances.

Cue explained that J & N Shoes, at 102 South Main is in need of roof repair. The store is currently owned by Jennifer and Jerry Steward as of last year and has been in operation since 1964.  The Stewards estimate the cost of a new foam covering for the roof at $10,348.66 and their request of $2,070 towards the upgrade was approved by the Authority.

The Pedal the Plains event is returning to southeast Colorado next year.  The long distance bicycle event was held in Lamar in September 2013 and saw upwards of 900 biking enthusiasts in Prowers County for three days.  Cue did not mention any other specifics for next year, other than to say the course will involve Lamar, Holly and Springfield communities.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedRecreationTourismTransportationUtilities

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