City Council Begins 2019 with Full Agenda



Open Lot Space Between Big R and 4Rivers



The Lamar City Council began their first meeting in 2019 with almost three dozen items on the agenda, this past Monday, January 14th.

Councilmembers ratified a phone poll approving the cancellation of a court appearance for Prowers Aggregate Operators, LLC with the State of Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board. According to city information, the Prowers Aggregate Operators were not in compliance with their mining operations located next to the City of Lamar Wells and were issued an order of appearance.  The Operators took steps to become compliant and were allowed to withdraw from the appearance.  The council also ratified a verbal poll regarding operations near the city’s sewer lagoons.

The city set three public hearings for Monday, January 28th.  Two were for Loaf ‘N Jug businesses at 1107 South and 300 North Main Streets in Lamar for a Liquor Permit Application for Modification of Premises to add additional shelving and refrigeration.  The third hearing is required for the Community Development Block Grant program to identify the needs of low and moderate income persons.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, explained the funds will be applied to the city’s wastewater infrastructure project.

The council approved the purchase of a new, 2019 ½ ton pick-up truck using the State Bid process for the Dodge Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab for $24,127 as bid by John Elway Chrysler Dodge. $21,500 had been set aside in the 2019 Capital budget.  Chief Building Official, Craig Brooks, explained the price is a bit over the lowest bid and City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, stated there should be room to absorb the difference spread over the year.

Farm Credit of Southern Colorado had their request for extra-territorial water service with the city approved by the council. The new business location is 8675 Highway 50 between Big R and 4 Rivers Equipment and outside the city limits.  The Planning and Zoning Commission stipulated that easements will be maintained to allow future development for the Big R properties due north of the construction site.

Brooks told the council the final construction details for the Lamar Loop will be completed as the council approved the bid from American Striping Company to complete the project which is now 80% finished. Under terms of the grant, the Loop must be completed by March 2019 and American Striping indicated it can begin immediately.  “They will handle the epoxy painting of boundary lines as well as signage and this includes both sides of Savage Avenue between the school and Main Street,” he said. They were one of six companies to submit a bid, all outside the Lamar area.  The estimate was $57,462 and is included in the grant.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, informed the council the department had been awarded DoLA funding to combat drug use in the community. The council approved  a $26,611 grant from the Department of Local Affairs for the Lamar Police Department to combat what is termed gray and black market marijuana.  Chief Miller explained that black market is an entirely illegal activity while gray is considered illegal in the sale of legally purchased marijuana. The award can be used only for costs associated with the investigation of unlicensed marijuana cultivation or distribution in violation of state law.  Chief Miller said the department received the full amount of a requested grant of $14,705 from the 15th Judicial District’s VALE board, Victim’s Assistance and Law Enforcement.

Lamar’s downtown district should receive future grant funding for general improvements. The council approved a $3,335 cash match for $13,335 for a DoLA Mini-Grant to cover costs for streetscape projects, alleyway improvements, downtown walking tour and a social media campaign.  Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Manager explained the city is eligible having been designated a Colorado Main Street Community since 2010.  She did note that the nature of the funding prohibits the money from be directly applied for improvements to any stores in the city.

A lease agreement for landscaping equipment will help maintain the grass and greens of Spreading Antler Golf Course. The council’s 2019 budget included the lease purchase of five pieces including a green mower, fairway mower, workman utility vehicle, greens roller and debris blower.  The first lease payment for the three years will be $45,000 and the second the third year payments will be $50,173.25. Earlier, the city has given the golf course $16,000 to pay for the sprinkler system and that money this year will go towards the equipment lease.  Councilman Oscar Riley, the city’s liaison to the golf board, confirmed that under the lease purchase agreement, the equipment will become the golf course’s property once the lease has expired.

The council held two executive meetings to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations regarding ARPA under C.R.S. 24-6—402 (4)(e) and for receiving legal advice of the City Attorney regarding C.R.S. 24-90 Part 6 under C.R.S. Section 24-6-402(4)(b).

The council noted the annual Lamar Chamber of Commerce Banquet is set for the Lamar Eagles Lodge on Wednesday, January 30th at 6:30pm.
By Russ Baldwin

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