Skateboarders Are Enjoying Wheels Park




Ms Ashley Mayjoy, RN, BSN is involved in a capstone project researching a community health policy which could benefit Lamar as the city has opened the long-awaited Wheels/Skateboard Park and the proposed Lamar Loop. Her research involves the question of personal safety for residents who will use the facilities, specifically for safety headgear for skateboarders.  City Attorney Garth Neischburg said he would prepare a resolution for the council to adopt banning skateboarders from using the facility without proper headgear as stipulated by the city’s risk management organization, CIRSA.  Lamar Parks and Recreation Director, Rick Akers, said the park has been in use for the past several days, stating, “Someone has already taken down the orange fencing we had surrounding the work area in several places, so people are already out there.”  The city plans to post safety rules and regulations as of June 26th so the public will be informed on various safety measures, as well as use of the park, up until 10:30pm each evening.

A public hearing for the proposed Sage Brush Meadows Nursing Home was set for July 9th, but not without additional concerns from the city council.  Jillane Hixson, one of the proponents for placing the additional one percent city sales tax on a special district on the November ballot asked the council to scheldule the hearing to allow the public to have a voice on the matter and to help place the measure on the ballot in the fall.  The hearing passed on a split vote by the council with Crespin and Jenkins voting against.  Hixson said the group’s attorney would be present on the 9th to answer additional questions.

The council approved the bid from Camp and Currell Construction to install a new roof at the Public Works Office and Shop. Eight bids requests were sent to licensed and insured contractors with only one bid returned.  The bid for $98,104.20 was accepted.

Last year’s hail damaged 16 roofs of city owned buildings. The city put out a bid for the project to 12 licensed and insured contractors with five returning bids.  The council awarded the bid and contract to replace the roofs to Royalty Construction from Lamar at $44,602.  City Building Inspector, Craig Brooks, told the council he has worked with Royalty Construction on several city projects in the past.

The council approved the purchase of $2,000 worth of fireworks from Tri-State Fireworks for a display during the Sand and Sage Fair. The Prowers County Fair Board is making the purchase.

Lamar will host the 11 U State Baseball Tournament at the Four Plex. Five teams are expected to be in Lamar for the three day tournament July 6-8th, which will be sponsored by the Lamar Parks and Rec Department.

The city needs to replace a Ford Police Interceptor which was involved in a crash this past spring and was totaled. CIRSA, the city’s risk management authority has offered $28,100 to replace the car.  The current note of the 2016 lease is $35,200.  The city’s 2018 payment on the note is due in August for $12,219.  The remainder of the note, including the August payment, is $22,918.  There would be an excess in the amount of $5,182 using the payment from CIRSA.  A new Ford Police Interceptor costs $35,550.  Using the excess, the balance would be $30,500.  Local banks used by the city were contacted for a quote to finance the replacement car for pay off in two years, allowing the city to remain on its current capital replacement schedule.  Valley National Bank provided the lowest figure at $16,145.50 for 2019 and $16,147.15 in 2020.

Administrator Sutherland informed the council that the DoLA funding grant request to aid in the purchase of a Type 3 Fire Engine for the department was denied. DoLA stated that there had been intense competition for funding with the amount of requests out-weighing the amount of available funding.  Sutherland said the city will pursue other financing avenues.

However, the Timothy Greer Endowment Fund Committee approved $5,800 in funding for the Lamar Ambulance Service to purchase an ambulance power cot which will aid raising and lowering patients as they’re placed inside an ambulance.

Administrator Sutherland highlighted the November ballot question submitted by the Prowers County Commissioners, asking voters to approve a quarter per cent County Sales Tax, raising the tax from 1% to 1.25%. The increase, would amount to twenty-five cents for every $100 spent, and could generate as much as $400,000 per year which will be used only for ambulance service to towns and rural areas of Prowers County.

Additional financial news was received stating that Amtrak is considering withholding its contribution to the DOT’s award under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) to Colfax County, New Mexico, impacting the operation of the Southwest Chief passenger train which runs through Lamar and La Junta. The council reviewed a letter of concern on the matter from various members of Congress among the southwestern states.

The council moved into executive session to discuss matters relative to the city’s settlement issues with Arkansas River Powers Authority. The next council meeting will be held Monday, July 9th, and because of the holiday schedule, the informal breakfast meeting on the first Wednesday of the month has been cancelled.  The Prowers Economic Prosperity, (PEP) update to the council was been postponed.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyElectionsEntertainmentFeaturedPoliticsPublic SafetyRecreationYouth


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