Lamar Council Okays Public Hearing Requests

Municipal Offices in Lamar



Two public hearings were conducted for local Loaf ‘N Jug stores, #057 and #058 at 1107 South Main Street and 300 North Main Street in Lamar. Both stores requested a Liquor Permit Application for Modification of Premise for each operation to add more shelving and refrigeration to their respective locations.  The move follows a similar request from the local Safeway Store to sell full strength beer as of the first of the year in Colorado.  Both permits were granted on a council split vote of four in favor and two opposed.

The council held another public hearing to identify community development needs, including the needs of low and moderate income persons, as well as other needs in the community that might be addressed through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. John Sutherland, City Administrator, explained the City of Lamar plans to submit an application to the State Department of Local Affairs for $600,000 for a storm water drainage improvement project that includes needed storm water piping along 4th and Washington Streets and a new pump station which would discharge the water into the Lamar Canal.  Sutherland said plans would not call for permanent involuntary displacement of dwellings or businesses. There were no comments from the audience and the council gave approval to move forward for the application.

The council ratified an earlier phone poll approving an agreement between the City of Lamar and Lamar Community College. The services of one of the city’s assistant librarians have been offered to the college, part time, to help during a transition between librarians at LCC.  The schedule calls for 16 hours a week for four days between January 7th and May 8, 2019.  The city will be reimbursed by the college for staff member’s salary and benefits through the work period.

Another phone poll was ratified approving the submission of a Southeast Colorado Council of Governments (SECOG) Mini-Grant application. Angie Cue explained the grant comes with a dollar for dollar match which will replace the current program on the city’s website which has not been updated since 2011.  Cue said sharing information with Lamar residents is crucial to community outreach and sharing information for future community development.  The new program will help reach residents, visitors and potential businesses through new images on the home page, one-click access to listen icons, breaking news and upcoming events accessible through the home page, add online forms for sign-ups, comment forms, polls and surveys and social media integration.  SECOG is accepting applications for a $5,000 technical assistance grant that can be applied toward the development of websites.  A three year service agreement with GovOffice is $10,400 which translates to a city match of $5,400. It’s expected the new website will be ready in 14-15 weeks once its specifics have been approved.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, presented several certificates of conduct of appreciation during the city council meeting on Monday, January 28th. Chief Miller noted that almost $2,000 had been raised by the organizations for the National Child Safety Program. Prowers Medical Center was one of the recipients that were noted.  CEO Craig Loveless thanked Chief Miller for the recognition adding that the hospital has begun a funding program to help defray the expenses of a new MRI unit.  Loveless said more details about the Priceless Pictures Campaign will be forthcoming, including naming opportunities for the planned imaging center.  The hospital has set a goal of $1.6 M to be raised over the next two years.

Local businesses can attend planned meetings with Cheryl Sanchez, Small Business Development Center consultant and Angie Cue, Lamar Partnership director the second Thursday of each month from 7am to 9am at Brew Unto Others at 119 South Main Street in Lamar. Each monthly meeting will focus on a different theme addressing core business functions, opportunities and challenges.  Guest consultants will be available to answer specific questions.  The first come and go meeting is set for February 14th.

Ratification for a council phone poll approved an earlier agreement between the city and Lamar Community College for security coverage by the Lamar Police Department for a basketball game which was held Saturday, January 25th.

George Gotto III was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Susan Hansen when she resigned from her term on the Library Advisory Board. That term is scheduled to expire February 1, 2020.  The council approved the recommendation for Gotto by the Advisory Board.

Lamar Fire Chief Jeremy Burkhart discussed revisions of the current firefighter and EMS stipend policy which helps to close the gap of revenues and expenditures. Staff will now receive a $20 payment for all calls incurred within a day as opposed to the prior schedule.

During the audience participation portion of the meeting, Belinda Groner of Heritage Defenders, told the council the organization is moving forward with a public forum to allow citizen comment regarding the use of EBSCO as a search engine by the Lamar Public Library. The group has been critical of EBSCO, used by school students to access study materials, as they claim it provides internet pathways to obscene graphics, advertisements and literature.

The Lamar City Council will conduct a work session, Monday, February 4th at 6:30pm and the monthly breakfast meeting will be held at the Hickory House on Wednesday, the 6th from 7 to 8am. City offices will be closed for President’s Day on Monday, February 18th.

The council designated Margaret Saldana, Human Resources Manager, as the city’s representative to the County Health Pool.

The council liaisons to various boards remained unchanged. There are 18 boards and commissions ranging from housing and utilities to police, fire, and library and water advisory board.

The council passed an ordinance on first reading to re-plat the lot-line at 1607 South Main Street, Lots 7 and 8, Block 5, Re-Subdivision of Parkview Subdivision City of Lamar. Craig Brooks, Chief Building Official, explained that the owner, Jordan Ballantyne, owner of lots 7 and 8 is requesting an adjustment in the size of both lots to accommodate a driveway for his new business being built on lot 8.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of the ordinance which would add zero to 51.89 feet in a pie shape from lot 7 to lot 8 to accommodate the driveway.

By Russ Baldwin

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