City Addresses Infrastructure Upgrades


A phone poll ratification by the Lamar City Council on Monday, August 12th, approved the submission of a Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Renewable Energy Grant for the city’s Washington/Sherman Street Drainage Improvements.  Councilwoman, Anne-Marie Crampton, took the opportunity to comment on facebook posts from some Lamar citizens, critical of the continued water build up on some of the city’s streets following recent heavy rainfalls.  She said it appeared from the postings, that some residents felt the street drainage issue would go away once the Highway 287 Redevelopment project was completed along North and South Main Streets.

Pat Mason, City Public Works director explained that the work on the street was installation of new catch-basins, and the piping that was connected to them never changed. “Basically it’s the same type of pipe carrying the same amount of water and without upsizing the pipe clear to the discharge point, you’re not going to improve the drainage by very much,” he told the council.  “What we did figure out on 5th Street, between Maple and Grant, we had a tree root that had grown into that section of drainage line and we got most of it out, but we’re still working on it.  It drains better, but it may still not be quick enough.  But without another drainage project with larger pipe, unfortunately, we’ve got what we’ve got.”  Mason said the city found some problems by the Middle School where trash in a pipeline would become stuck on some rebar piping and hinder water flow and they’ve corrected that situation.  Mason said this new drainage project should be able to pull some water from as far away as Maple Street which will take water off east of Main Street and will help take pressure off the other system.  The discharge project is estimated at $1,061,500 and the city and JVA Engineering completed the request totaling $530,750 and JVA will seek options to find matching funds to complete the project.

Mason detailed an on-going project to reduce hydrogen sulfide concentrations at the Cow Palace Inn, the discharge point from the Ports to Plains Truck Stop pump station. The concentrations have long been a problem in the overall collection system causing noxious odors and corrosion of metals and even concrete.  The project calls for Evoqua Water Technologies from Sarasota, FL to use chemicals and equipment to attempt to reduce these emissions.  The study, priced at $6,500, includes initial set up and a 30-60 day monitoring period to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.  The agreement also calls for a yearly maintenance charge of $3,057 for three inspection sites within the city boundaries.

Another phone poll approved the transfer of funds from the Lamar Municipal Airport to San Luis Valley Regional Airport for this year. The transfer will help them complete an improvement project using $60,510 which the Lamar Airport has for the Airport Master Plan.  In return, San Luis Valley will transfer those funds back to Lamar in 2020 for its project.  The council also ratified a phone poll approving the submission of a LiveWell Colorado HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign Grant for $3,000.  This project will help the community pursue and increase wellness for areas such as nutrition, physical, financial and mental/spiritual concerns.

Angie Cue, Community Development Director, informed the council about a spruce-up, artwork project that will be completed in time for the September 13-15 Pedal the Plains bicycle event in Lamar. Colorado Creative Industries awarded $1,000 to the three host communities, Lamar, Holly and Springfield for artwork which will be showcased along the riding route and must be completed by September 11th.  Southeast Colorado Arts Council is matching the grant.  The Lamar route will be ridden on Friday, the 13th, starting from the Lamar Community Building, south to the Lamar Loop around to the West Side of Oak Street which will have the proposed artwork on the corner of 14th and Oak Street.

Control Cabinet at Main and Olive

On that note, Patriots of the Santa Fe Trail, a volunteer citizen’s group, is commissioning local artists to paint murals on the transformer cabinets at stoplights on Highway 50 and 287 in Lamar. The paintings must be approved by the project team consisting of the city council, DoLA and CDOT for final approval. Six of the eight cabinets will be painted using special graffiti repellant paint the other two will use photographs for the display.  The council approved the proposed artwork and signed a resolution initiating the project.

The council set September 9, 2019 for a public hearing for a special events permit for the Lamar Chamber of Commerce for its annual Oktoberfest event for Saturday, October 5th.

Two persons were appointed to the Lamar Historic Preservation Board. Stephanie Gonzales was re-appointed for the three year term expiring in 2022 and Galan Burnett was appointed to fill a vacant three year term expiring the same year.

Mary Conley was a new appointment to the VALE Board, Victims and Witness Assistance Law Enforcement. Her two year term will end on 2021 and Rose Ann Yates and Debbie Vigue were re-appointed to three year terms.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, noted the city was awarded $7,704 for training for the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Testing, (POST) grant for in-service training. This is an annual grant from the state.

The Lamar Parks and Recreation Department will use 2019 budget funds to purchase a replacement 72-inch compact mower. The cost for the John Deere mower is $23,404.66 from low bidder, 4 Rivers Equipment in Lamar.

The council went into executive session to determine positions relative to matters that may be subject to negotiations, developing strategy for negotiations, and/or instructing negotiators under C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(e).

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedPolice ReportPublic SafetyRecreation


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