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Lamar Council Notes Pedal the Plains Attendance Size, Sets Administrator Recruitment in Motion

Municipal Offices in Lamar

 

The bikes are coming, and with them and their riders presenting the need for parking space in Lamar during the Pedal the Plains event September 13-15th. The organizing group received council permission to expand the originally approved parking area for RV’s for overnight camping on Park Street.  Because of increased reservations, the organizers are asking that one block of Park Street between 6th and 7th, south of and parallel to Savage Stadium be added to accommodate the vehicles.  Overflow parking will be directed to the Prowers County Fairgrounds.  Angie Cue, Community Development Director, added that due to the proximity to the residential area, RV owners are being asked to shut down their generators by 11pm each evening.  On a separate note, she told the council several local businesses from the Downtown Merchants group, planned to set up booths in the Centennial Building at this year’s Sand and Sage Fair August, 8-10th to inform the public of the benefits of shopping locally and several intend to hand out coupons.

The city council approved a proposal from Strategic Government Resources of Keller, Texas for executive recruitment services to find a new city administrator, who will replace retiring administrator, John Sutherland on July 29th. The recruitment plans outlines securing at least 12 semifinalist candidates from which six will be selected for interviews from which the council can make its choice.  The presentation was made to the council by SGR representative, Kristin Navarro, Director of Business Development and Recruitment.  She said if for some reason the approved candidate left their post after 18 months employment, SGR would resume the search for a replacement under terms of the original contract.

Kids in Lamar will be able to enjoy themselves on new playground equipment being erected west of the creek at Willow Creek Park. Parks and Recreation Director, Rick Akers, explained the project, $233,880 is being funded through the Inspire Grant and Colorado Health Foundation Grant, working with Summit Recreation.  Construction work is expected to take several months to clear the old equipment and install the new facility that is based in part, on past recommendations by local youth when several exhibits were on display in Lamar this past fall and last summer.

Jay Gruber, owner of the Buzzard’s Roost bar in Lamar, asked the council to consider his proposal to allow under age children to accompany their parents/guardians to his business three days a week during lunch hours. “We’re getting complaints from people that we turn them away when they bring their children in to eat, so we’re looking at 11am to 2pm Thursday through Saturday,” he explained adding that food service was only two percent of his gross income when he took ownership, but has swelled to 40% since that time.  “We’ll do this only during light serving times of alcohol.  We aren’t even considering this during the evening hours,” he explained.  Gruber added that a lot of the complaints come from families visiting Lamar and the ball parks for games that come to us to have a lunch or dinner and are turned away.  Mayor Stagner asked if he would separate two sections from each other as, “I don’t believe we’d have a problem if you were able to do that.”  Stagner said he had a concern that other similar establishments might follow suit.  Other council persons said other restaurants in Lamar already serve alcohol to their adult patrons while their children are with them and no one has made much of an issue on the matter.  Gruber said the lunches would be supervised, but most of the kids that come with parents are around 10 to 12 years old.  Administrator John Sutherland said that on legalities, this was more a council preference than any city ordinance that currently exists. City Attorney, Garth Nieschburg, said he’d review the ordinance for council discussion.

The council authorized the mayor sign an accord and satisfaction agreement, developed in 1995 with the Lamar Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to establish a paving improvement district for South 8th Street south of the Fort Bent Canal. The agreement noted that impacted property owners would enter an agreement to contribute to a fund to help defray expenses for construction curb and gutter and the paving of South 8th Street in the neighborhood.  As it turned out, only the Jehovah’s Witnesses contributed to the fund, fulfilling its obligations at $75 per month, every month for ten years as stipulated in the agreement and over time, the contributions were forgotten until 2013.  The Congregation contacted the City about the improvement project for which a master plan was completed in 2018.  The $9,800 in funds, deposited in TBK Bank was released to help defray a part of the $14,000 project for the Congregation’s property.

Following a cost analysis study, the city council approved switching city employee life insurance coverage from Anthem to Lincoln Financial Group. Health Resources Manager, Margaret Saldana explained the move will result in almost 22% savings to the city or $11,800 while still maintaining a high level of insurance coverage.  Saldana told the council that city employees will not see any impact based on these changes.

The council approved the appointment of Clifford Boxley to fill the unexpired term on the Lamar Housing Authority Board, created with the resignation of Trevor LaCost. The term expires June 1, 2020.  The council approved the re-appointments of Kenneth Davis and Brandon Adamson to the Parks and Recreation Board for terms expiring February 1, 2022.  Councilman Oscar Riley noted the Spreading Antlers Golf Course added 14 new members as well as a website at golflamar.com.

The council went into executive session to discuss the purchase, ac1uisition, lease transfer, or sale of real, personal, or other property interest under CRS Section 24-6-402(4)(a) for strategy negotiations regarding the property at 1101 South Main Street in Lamar under CRS. 24-6-402(4)(e).

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEntertainmentEventsFeaturedHousingPublic SafetyRecreationTourismYouth

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