Council Approves Ordinances for Veteran’s Cemetery and Tourism Advisory Board

Veteran's Section at Fairmount Cemetery

Veteran’s Section at Fairmount Cemetery

Two ordinances were passed by the Lamar City Council on first reading during its Monday night meeting, May 22nd. The first pertains to an amended city code establishing eligibility criteria for internment in the veteran’s section of Fairmount Cemetery.  The change now includes eligible dependent children in addition to the veteran’s spouse to be buried with their loved one.  The change alters the language of the ordinance, eliminating “Their spouses” from a sentence and replacing it with, “eligible members of the veteran’s family.”  Several economic stipulations for payment of the plot for non-immediate family members were also included in the new version of the ordinance.

The reading of the second ordinance before the council has begun the process for levying a 5% room tax, the establishment of a Tourism Advisory Board, the hiring of an events coordinator and the necessary associated costs of promoting Lamar as a tourist and event destination including capital costs. The ordinance, if approved, will be submitted for action by Lamar voters in the approaching November election.  Chris Wilkinson, one of the proponents of the new tax, has been circulating non-official petitions around the city to provide the council with some indication of how the proposal is being received.  “We hardly had anyone who was opposed to the idea,” explained Wilkinson, who, with Pat Palmer, circulated the petition and held discussions with other Lamar residents on the idea.  The cost of putting the ordinance on the ballot involved most of the discussion.  Lamar City Clerk, Linda Williams, said the cost of a ballot inclusion had not been budgeted for the year and she gave a rough estimate of from $3,000 to $5,000 to put it before the voters by November.  The cost could fluctuate depending on whether it stands alone on the ballot information booklet which describes the pros and cons of a ballot issue or it becomes a shared cost with other potential measures which could be included in the pamphlet.  The pamphlet is mailed to registered voters and is similar to the ‘Blue Book’ which is issued by the state to all Colorado voters.  A public hearing has been set for June 12th during the council meeting to allow residents to respond to the ordinance, either for or against it.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, recognized the six graduating participants in this session’s Citizen’s Academy, a series of seven weeks of classes during which citizens are introduced to the training courses police officers attend for employment in the city’s department. “These people are the six out of 19 who were on hand for 100% of the classes,” the chief explained as he called them to receive their certificates.  He said some newer aspects of the most recent classes included a tour of the county jail, “For some who have never been in there, it’s eye-opening,” he explained.  The graduates are: Deborah Owens, Novella Leann Jones, Erica Jones, Christine Sanchez, Thomas Sanchez and not present was Christy Johnson.


City Administer, John Sutherland, provided a list of upcoming events for the council and for Lamar citizens, to include the monthly informal breakfast set for Wednesday, June 7th from 7-8am at Daylight Donuts in Lamar; Colorado High School Rodeo Finals will be held May 25th through the 29th at the Fairgrounds, city offices will be closed May 29th in observance of Memorial Day, and the Lamar Municipal Pool will open for the season on May 25th.  Sutherland noted that the city has hired a new librarian who hails from Georgetown, Colorado and offers 20 years of experience in the field.  That person is expected to become the new Lamar Librarian on July 5th.

Lamar Community College is offering a history of Mexico course and a course in conversational Spanish. Councilmember, Anne-Marie Crampton, said the courses will tie in to a project to explore La Colonia, a neighborhood that existed for several decades in Lamar’s north end.  The college, Lamar’s Historic Preservation Advisory Board and the Lamar Public Library are contributing to the project.  Crampton added the college is gathering first-hand information about La Colonia from elder members of the community who could contribute their personal accounts.

The council renewed a seven-month, facilities use agreement between Toni Pelton and the Lamar Parks and Recreation Department. All provisions of the contract remain the same for use of the CV and weight rooms.  Rick Akers, Parks and Recreation Director, stated that Pelton carries the required insurance policy for her classes at the community building.

By Russ Baldwin


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