New Name Coming for Lamar Airport


The Lamar City Council approved a resolution of support to change the name of the Lamar Municipal Airport to Southeast Colorado Regional Airport, which will better reflect the scope of the market area being served. A request had been made of the council earlier in the year and this action, taken during the council meeting March 11th, will begin the process for the name change.  A study several years ago indicated that Lamar’s airport serves eight surrounding counties in southeast Colorado as well as from western Kansas for those pilot’s service needs or weather related issues.  Because of the broad coverage, the Lamar Airport Advisory Board believes a name change would be more reflective of the regional service provided by the airport and would aid in future funding opportunities with the new name.  Council liaison to the Airport Board, Oscar Riley, explained that the name change to a regional status could move the airport up the list for grant funding.  The resolution will help begin the renaming process with the FAA and other related agencies.

A three year lease agreement between the City of Lamar and Kactus Inc. was approved by the council during their March 11th meeting.  The Lamar Police Department has been leasing the detective office from the company since 2009.  The lease provides for room to process evidence for cases, separate office space where arrest control training is conducted as well as room for exercise equipment for employees and garage space for storage of vehicles which need to be processed for evidence.  The cost for the lease of all three spaces is $750 per month.

The council approved the use of budgeted funds for the purchase of six Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) units. Lamar Fire Chief Jeremy Burkhart explained these will replace older units and at the rate of a minimum of six per year, it will take approximately 5 ½ years to replace the department’s entire fleet.  The total cost of the six units and related equipment is $56,214.  “We’ll continue to replace old for new with budgeted funding,” he said, adding that the general life of a unit is 20 years, after which it is unusable. Six units were purchased last year.

The city’s website will continue to be upgraded using funds from a (SECOG) Southeast Council of Governments grant. Community Development Director, Angie Cue, explained that this is a matching grant which will allow the website to further engage residents and visitors to Lamar, creating an interactive site allowing movement of images, filmstrips and department icons.  The city was awarded $5,000 on a dollar for dollar match basis and paying the amount by the end of the year, the prices is discounted to $8,700 so the SECOG grant would be $4,350 to the city’s equal match.

The council gave the go-ahead to apply for the (LPOR) Grant, Local Park and Outdoor Recreation Grant on behalf of the 9/11 Foundation for $100,000 to be applied to the construction of the 9/11 Memorial at the Big Timbers Museum. The grant includes a 25% match that can be in-kind and 10% cash.  This translates to $2,500 in cash and the balance would be in-kind.  The Foundation would be responsible for the in-kind and cash match plus maintenance of the Memorial through an intergovernmental agreement that will be conducted with the city as the project moves to its conclusion.  The grant application is November 1, 2019.  City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea contacted Greater Outdoors Colorado to see if the city would be eligible to apply.  She explained the city can ‘sponsor’ or be a pass-through entity for the grant even though they are not eligible at this time to apply for any further grants until its Inspire Grant is complete.

The city will move to use Braintree Payment Services with PayPal to process credit card payments and on-line location for utility payments, licenses and other transactions of this nature. Thomas Sanchez, the City’s IT director, was presented with an offer by PayPal that claimed the firm could do the processing for less than the city is currently paying.  Both the City Clerk and Treasurer agreed that having one processing company would expedite the transactions with less cost to the city.

The council re-appointed Cameron Rogers to fill a five year term with the Airport Advisory Board, expiring 2024 and appointed Shane Wollert to the Airport Advisory Board to fill the remainder of a five year term expiring in 2022.

The council passed on first reading; an ordinance adopting the Lamar Municipal Code which provides for the repeal of certain ordinances not included therin, provides for the adoption of secondary codes by reference and provides a penalty for their violation. The council set Monday, April 8, 2019 for a public hearing on the reading and adoption of the code changes.  The ordinance could be in force by May 8th.

Two donations were announced for the Lamar Fire Department. One for $500 came from the Lamar Elks Charity Fund and Atmos Energy will donate $2,500 for gas monitors, according to Chief Burkhart.

The council went into executive session to discuss a personal matter C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(f) regarding Municipal Judge Contract and for negotiations regarding ARPA under C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(e).

By Russ Baldwin



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