Council Seeking Extension Agreement on Ambulance Service Contract


Now that six months has almost past, the Lamar City Council has forwarded a contract extension agreement to the Prowers County Commissioners for the second half of an ambulance service contract which was approved this past December. After some negotiation the County agreed to pay the City of Lamar $60,000 for six months of ambulance and EMT service to Prowers County with the exception of the coverage area of the Holly Ambulance Service.  The current agreement expires on June 30, 2019.  A renewal of the contract will extend the coverage until the end of the year so long as the agreement is signed by the county by June 25, 2019.

The council set Monday, June 10th for public hearings for various activities.  One is from the Lamar Elks Lodge #1319 for a special liquor event permit to host a beer garden during the downtown Custom & Classic Car Show at the Shore Art Center Pocket Park for August 16-17.  The Buzzard’s Roost has applied for a temporary modification of premise application for their annual road jam music festival on September 14th.  The third is for a transfer of ownership/hotel restaurant liquor license for Green Garden Restaurant LLC as they have created an LLC for the business and are required to do a transfer of ownership per state regulations.

The council approved to ratify an earlier phone poll approving the submission of the 2019-2020 Colorado Tourism Office Welcome Center Contract through June 30, 2020. The state will pay the City of Lamar $54,720 for their services through the fiscal year.  This is an annual requirement between both parties.  A phone poll was ratified which approved the appointment of Gary Oxley to the Lamar Building Finance Corporation Board for a vacancy on the board which will expire in 2029.  Chris Currell was re-appointed to the Adjustment and Appeals Board for a term expiring July, 2024.

Local contractor, Tim Borunda, addressed the council with his concerns on the cost of building permits, stating that compared to other communities; the permits in Lamar are too costly and will vary from job to job even though the cost of construction is a similar match. Borunda suggested the council review their procedures and base permit costs on the quality of the work exhibited and not for labor or materials.

May 12 through the 18th has been identified as National Police Week with May 15th being declared as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.  The council approved the proclamation, 19-05, in recognition of peace officer’s efforts in safeguarding the citizens of Colorado and call upon all citizens of the state to observe the occasion.

Chief Miller with Officers

Lamar Police Chief Kyle Miller presented the series of updated fines set for municipal penalty assessments for violations of the municipal code. With a penalty assessment, the individual cited for the offense has the opportunity to pay the fine on the citation or appear in court.  With a summons, the individual cited must appear before a judge.  The council tabled any action and requested a side by side comparison of the current fines measured against the proposed list and Chief Miller will have those ready for the next council session.

Chief Miller spoke to the national Bulletproof Vest Program which allows funds to help pay for body armor the police officers. The program provides 50% funding for the vests which would impact 18 on the Lamar force.  The total cost is $3,020 for six vests of which Lamar would pay $1,510 and the request to submit the application was approved.  Miller said the current vests have a five year longevity period before they are of no use.  The council approved the city’s share of matching funds.

The council awarded the concession contract at the Ballfield Complex to Sergio and Tracy Sigala of Granada. Rick Akers, Lamar Parks and Recreation Director, said two bids had been received, each with an offer of 12% of gross sales to the city.  Snowball Express was based in La Junta and the Granada concession received preference points per the city’s purchasing policy.

Akers outlined a grant awarded to the city from the Colorado Health Foundation for $125,306 which will be used in conjunction with the Generation Wild (Inspire) grant for the Nature Play area to be set up on the west side of Willow Creek Park. Akers said the total package amounts to approximately $230,000 and he expects that it take from six to eight weeks to complete the new playground, ready for use by the fall.  Akers mentioned that he is working on a Ka-Boom style playground for Escondido Park, similar to the one installed in the North Side Park about four years ago.  That development is only in the planning stages at this time.

The annual Pedal the Plains bicycle event will be held in Lamar this September. Angie Cue, Community Development Manager, provided an update on the latest plans for the three day event, expected to bring 1,000 riders to southeast Colorado.  Lamar will be the headquarters for the start and finish lines on Thursday, September 12th and Sunday, the 15th.  Riders will travel through Holly as well as Springfield on their journey.  A closing ceremony has been planned for the Prowers County Fairgrounds at 3:30pm with various booths and a beer garden available to the public at large.

The council approved the purchase of a new truck scale for the Lamar Landfill. Martin Montoya of the city’s public works department, explained the scale will be used at the East Lamar Landfill, allowing for accurate measurement of refuse which impacts three aspects of the landfill.  More accurate measurements provide a better estimate for determining the life expectancy of the landfill, the amount of money paid out to the State of Colorado and it eliminates the guesswork when providing service to day-to-day customers with regards to airspace and compaction for a load.  Estimated cost of the scale is $94,603.

Five local tow companies were approved by the council as having met the permit qualifications outlined in the bidding process for towing at the request of the Lamar Police Department. Chief Miller said they are:  A-1 Towing, Hook’s Towing, Paul’s Towing, Superior Towing and Woller Towing.

The council approved the lease-purchase financing agreement with the Lamar Building Finance Corporation for $276,378 to purchase a new Faris Machinery refuse truck. The agreement provides for a term of 48 months, an interest rate of 2.75% and an upfront payment of $55,276 with equal annual payments of $59,127.23.

City Administrator Sutherland reviewed some dates of interest for the council including activities for this Saturday’s Lamar Days. The Stewards of Children Special Event will be held Monday, May 20th from 5:30 to 8pm at the Lamar Community Building; a Cat Management Workshop is set for Tuesday, May 21st at 6:30pm at the Lamar Community Building.  City Offices will be closed Monday, May 27th for the observance of Memorial Day and the council’s regular meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, the 28th.

The council adjourned into executive session for the purpose of developing strategy for negotiations and instructing negotiators regarding ARPA under C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(e).

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEntertainmentFeaturedPublic SafetyRecreationSchoolSportsThe ArtsTourismUtilities


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