Council Approves Oktoberfest Events Permit, Wants More Discussion on Retail Wine Tasting Events

Municipal Offices in Lamar


A special events permit was granted to the Lamar Chamber of Commerce following a scheduled public hearing by the City Council, Monday, August 14. The permit will allow the chamber to host their annual beer garden from 10am to 11pm during the Oktoberfest festivities on Saturday, September 23rd at the Chamber parking lot, adjacent to the Enchanted Forest.  Chamber office manager, Lisa Carder, explained that the servers will be TIPS certified to dispense beer during the event and would guarantee that fact as requested by councilmember Gerry Jenkins.  As a chamber board member, Councilman Kirk Crespin abstained from the vote and a nay vote was cast by Councilman Keith Nidey.

The council discussed the need for a comprehensive application form when a local liquor retailer requests permission for a Liquor Tasting Event. Prior to this, the city had no rules or regulations on such an event.  The form, created by the Local Liquor Authority, allows the Authority to set appropriate stipulations and fees.  Some of the requirements include:  tastings will be conducted only by someone who has completed a server training program; the event will be held only on a licensee’s licensed premises; an individual sample will not exceed one-half ounce of spirituous liquor or one ounce of malt or vinous liquor; tastings shall not exceed five hours per day and the licensee shall not serve more than four individual samples to a patron during a tasting event.  The form was not approved with several council members expressing concerns over permitting the event.  The council did decide that a public hearing on such an event wasn’t a mandated stipulation.  City Clerk, Linda Williams, explained that because the retailer already had been granted a license to sell liquor, one issue before the council was whether the tasting required a special events permit.  The council decided such events should be kept inside the store and not moved outside.  No action was taken by the council, although they felt that if a future request was made to the council, the liquor retailer should be present to describe their plans.

If you noted the fireworks display on Saturday night, August 12th, during the annual Sand and Sage Fair and Rodeo, it was because the Lamar City Council gave their approval through a phone poll on August 8th.  The Prowers County Fair Board paid $1,500 for the display which was handled by the Lamar Fire Department.  The council ratified their vote on Monday.  There may be future displays, as Lamar Fire Chief Jeremy Burkhart recommended that the fair board make their purchase in April, the same time the city bought their annual display.

Councilmember, Anne-Marie Crampton was carried over as the city’s representative to the Colorado Municipal League’s Policy Committee which meets in Denver to review legislative and policy proposals and to recommend specific positions to the CML Executive Board.

Leo Hernandez decided to remain on the Lamar Utility Board for another five year term. His previous term expired August 1st and the council voted in favor of his re-application which will expire next in 2022.

Almost a year ago, City Administrator, John Sutherland noted the need for roof repairs at the Lamar Community Building. Roof Tech Consultants was hired this past April to perform an audit for cost of comprehensive repairs.  Weather Sure Systems was the single company to bid on the project with an estimate of $158,022 which is more than the $145,000 budgeted for repairs for 2017.  The overage will be covered from funds saved from the pool repair project from this past spring.  An additional $17,502 will be allocated to cover the costs for the roof, walls and windows.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, noted that the expense is not for a new roof, but only repairs to seals to prevent current leaking.

The city accepted an $11,000 grant from the Colorado Pet Over-Population Fund. The money will be used to provide spaying and neutering for all dogs at the Lamar Shelter before being transferred or adopted, saving the new owner a deposit fee.  Lamar’s local veterinarians agreed to provide a discounted rate along with the cost of any emergency care, if needed.  Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, explained that an additional $1,000 grant was available for a Pet Finder Program which teaches the best means of social media practices for retrieving or placing lost dogs.

The council approved the eligibility form for the Lamar Library to receive funding from the Colorado State Grants program. Lamar is one of 300 eligible grantees in the state.  Last year, due to a continued response for library services, the state legislature increased funding from $2M to $2.5M.

In a housekeeping measure, the Lamar City Council approved an agreement with Prowers County to conduct a coordinated election for November 7, 2017. The agreement authorizes the County Clerk and Recorder to act as the designated election official.

The council approved the contract with CDOT for the replacement of the Commercial Street Bridge which spans the Lamar Canal. The bridge, LMR-9, was inspected by CDOT and was given a sufficiency rating of 22.7 on a scale of 1 to 100.  The bridge may either be replaced or closed to vehicle traffic.  In 2015, the Special Highway Committee awarded the city a grant of $392,480 which is 80% of the probable cost of replacement repairs.  The council approved the CDOT agreement to construct the new bridge, but the State is requiring that action is to be done by Resolution which was approved by the City Council.

Doug Thrall, owner of the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn, described how the American Legion Foundation motorcycle riders appreciated their welcome to town during their ride from Dodge City, KS to Pueblo this past Saturday, August 12th.  “They appreciated the appearance of an ambulance from the department if there had been a need, as well as the Girls Scouts who were on hand to provide a welcome.”  Thrall said around 350 riders were served lunch before they continued their journey and said they’d be sure to be back, based on the way they were made welcome to the town.

The Council generally agreed to work with Prowers Medical Center on the hospital’s request to have Kendall Drive resurfaced. Mayor Roger Stagner explained, “They’ll purchase the materials and asked if we’d contribute the labor.”  There was no timeline set for the project, but it was pointed out the repairs would also benefit the High Plains Clinic, dentist’s office, Adult Clinic, Southeast Mental Health and The Legacy, all of which share the same roadway.

The council held three executive session following the regular meeting; negotiations pertaining to the ARPA lawsuit; negotiations to develop a strategy in the formation of a P-3 to pursue a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Rural Project Assistance Grant Opportunity and to discuss personnel policies.

By Russ Baldwin




Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEntertainmentFeaturedLaw EnforcementRecreationTourismTransportation


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