Lamar Library to Display Moon Rocks

Courtesy Photo: John Granger


The Lamar Library will have several moon rocks on display for the general public as part of the Summer Reading Program, “Universe of Stories”, June 3rd through July 12th.    The Lamar Police will provide security on Friday, June 14th from 2pm to 4pm when the lunar rock samples will be on display.  Lamar Librarian, Sue Lathrop, explained to the council during their March 25th general meeting, that as an integral part of the agreement, the meteorite and rock display, encased in secure “disks” must be stored in a safe area, which the library can provide.  “Tammy Sinka from the Library made the arrangements with Amy Schmidt, a teacher from Alta Vista and Chief Miller from the Police Department will provide security for the rocks while they are on display to the general public,” she explained.  Lathrop said that the rock display will also be available for viewing by students who visit the library, but not in a general public viewing situation.  She said these are the provisions stipulated by NASA and the Johnson Space Center.  The council approved the loan agreement.

The council approved the Master Plan for the Lamar Library as prepared by the Library Advisory Board under the city’s Home Rule Charter. The document will serve as a foundation for future strategic planning for the library.  The Plan includes the Library Vision which is served through four listed goals:  Inspire passion for reading, build community collaborative opportunities and partnerships, provide access and training in advancing technology and build literacy programs and provide educational opportunities to all ages.

The council also approved a recommended amendment to the library internet/computer use policy. Librarian Sue Lathrop explained that while the library has been complying with the requirements of the law under the Colorado Statutes, more specific language needs to be included in the library’s internet policy as it relates to child safety.  The intent is to make sure filters are installed on each computer operated by the library that allows for access to the Internet by a minor.

Pat Mason, Public Works Director, explained the need for a software upgrade on the city’s Aclara water metering system which will become inoperable on December 31, 2019. The cost is $44,323 and will increase the capability of being able to shut off water meters remotely, improve lead detection and capture missed reads.  Mason told the council the latest installation of new meters was in 2013 and that as the older meters age, they will be replaced with new meters which will operate from the new software.  He added that the cost of the replacements has been set in the 2019 budget.

Mason said the city has an opportunity to join the City of Montrose to purchase a 2019 Scorpion Automated Refuse Truck on their contract with Faris Machinery using a Request for Proposal process regarding financing options. The cost, $276,378, was included in the 2019 Capital Improvement Fund.  The council approved the purchase request and directed City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea to draft a proposal which will be sent to banks for the council’s consideration pending a decision on which loan plan to accept.  Mason explained, “These trucks probably get the most use through the year than any other piece of equipment, picking up about 6,000 trash bins a week.  We have two old models in reserve in case one truck breaks down, and with the newer model, we’ll be able to take the best working truck out of regular service and use it as a back-up.”  He said a best case scenario would be to purchase a new truck every three years, although, some council members, keeping a tight budget in mind, said every five years might be more operable.

The council adopted Resolution 19-03-02 declaring Lamar to be a Second Amendment Preservation City on a unanimous vote. The resolution states that the city pledges not to appropriate funds, resources or employees, or agencies to initiate unconstitutional seizures of firearms in Lamar and demands the state legislature cease and desist any further actions restricting the Second Amendment rights of citizens and instead address the challenges of mental illness in our communities.

The semiannual Friends of the Lamar Library book sale will run April 6th through the 10th at the Cultural Events Center and the spring City Wide Clean-Up Day is set for Saturday, April 27th.

The council adopted a proclamation declaring April 8-12 as the Week of the Young Child and a second proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention month.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, noted the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Passenger Depot at 109 East Beech Street in Lamar, which serves as the Lamar Welcome Center and Lamar Chamber of Commerce office, will be considered for National Register listing at the next Colorado Historic Preservation Review board meeting in Denver on May 17th.

Sutherland noted that a Community Development Block grant with DoLA to fund the Washington Street Storm Drainage project had been turned down. “You are not allowed to use DoLA funding for matching funds to qualify for a grant from DoLA,” he explained, adding that the council will be given an application for funds from the Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund Grant which will also require a cash match.

Dr. Linda Lujan, LCC President, provided the council with an update on a number of construction projects that will begin this spring and summer at the college. Lujan stated, “This will be a form of delightful chaos that we will see at the college for at least the next two years.”  She listed a number of improvement and expansion projects including renovating the former campus bookstore into a student union.  President Lujan said she is hopeful the enrollment at the college can turn around next year as there was a 7% drop this year, compared to the 7% gain the year before.  “We will celebrate our 80th Commencement at the college beginning at 10am on May 4th and Chancellor Joe Garcia will be our keynote speaker.”

The council ratified an earlier phone poll approving submission of the Department of Local Affairs Redi Mini-grant application. The grant is for $13,500 with a $4,500 cash match required from the city.  The money will be used for the eventual purchase of property at 114 South Main in Lamar formerly the Main Café.  It has been empty for numerous years and the city hopes to renovate the building to attract a potential business locating there.

The council approved the re-appointment of Lane Porter as municipal judge for the city. The current term expires April 10th.  The new term is for two years at an annual salary of $19,500.

There will be a council work session on Monday, April 1st, beginning at 6:30pm. Administrator Sutherland said a presentation and an update on the gas line replacement project from Atmos Energy in Lamar will be given.

The Lamar Police Department will use its officers as security for the annual after-prom party for Lamar students. They will be on duty from 12am to 3am on April 13th and be compensated at $35 per hour per officer.

By Russ Baldwin

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