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Council Approves Water Infrastructure Improvements

 

Mayor Stagner, Stepping Down from Office after November 11th

 

The Lamar City Council took steps to help improve a problem with groundwater infiltration in the area of Rancher’s Lift Station behind Rancher’s Supply on East Olive Street in Lamar. Groundwater (inflow and infiltration) is entering the sewer system negatively impacting the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. The excess groundwater affects electricity costs, unnecessary equipment wear and tear on lift station pumps and the Wastewater Treatment Plant and influences the amount of wastewater permitted by the State of Colorado. The current permit allows for 1.16 million gallons per day, but in the summer when ground infiltration increases, the Plant consistently exceeds that number by at least 50to 60%. The lift station at Rancher’s Supply is a major contributor to the problem and if not corrected, state compliance and future growth will become major issues.

The council approved the hiring of Granite Inliner to line the sewer with an inner pipe in the impacted area at a cost of $65,160. The firm has been employed by the city to line parts of the stormwater drainage system in the Northwest Stormwater Drainage Project with more than satisfactory results. It was noted that there was only $47,000 remaining in the fund, but the balance should be made up from the 2020 budget, perhaps using a grant from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment expected later this year.

A public hearing was held to begin the process of updating the city’s Water Conservation Plan through a Colorado Water Conservation Board grant. The council voted to adopt the plan which dictates that communities in the state develop and implement a water conservation plan and revise it as conditions alter for a community. The CWCB has the authority to without grants for any community which have not adopted the required plan. A new, draft plan was completed by the city using a grant for the engineering study in 2015. However, the city’s Water Enterprise management team was not satisfied with the quality of the plan and the engineer is no longer available.   City staff eventually hired the water engineering firm, Helton & Williamsen to produce a supplement to the Plan which corrected the areas of concern to city staff. The Plan was approved by the council during its regular meeting on Monday, October 28th.

The proclamation No. 19-07, “November 8, 2019 as Zonta International Centennial Day in the City of Lamar, Colorado” was approved by the council.   The Prowers County chapter joined other chapters around the world to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Zonta. Local activities included displays by members in numerous parades, gathering books about strong females to donate to local school libraries and a pubic proclamation with week of November 8th will culminate in the lighting of the Prowers County Courthouse in anniversary teal colors. Zonta was founded on November 9, 1919 in Buffalo, NY and has since expanded into an international service and advocacy organization with 29,000 members in 63 countries on six continents.   Since 1923 Zonta has contributed more than $41 million U.S. dollars to empower women through improved education, health care, economic opportunities and safe living conditions.

The council ratified an earlier verbal poll for the approval of Resolution 19-1-01, “Supporting the Grant Application for a local parks and outdoor recreation grant from the state board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund and the completion of the Tri-0State 9/11 Memorial.” Grant funds will be used for the completion of the memorial located by Big Timbers Museum. The site is owned by Prowers County and leased to Tri-State 9/11 Memorial Foundation for the next 25 years. The City of Lamar has requested $125,000 from GoCO for the completion of the Memorial.

The Lamar City Council followed the recommendation made by the Planning and Zoning Commission from an earlier meeting and approved the request from Dalene Perdue to move a property line between her two parcels of land to allow better access around the home at 8A Paseo Place. Following the October 28th public hearing, the council gave the go-ahead to move the property line between 8A and 8B Paseo Place.

The current Fixed Base Operators contract between the City of Lamar and Lamar Flight Service LLC was approved for a new five-year agreement. The original contract stipulated if all parties were satisfied, the contract could run for an additional five years as written. Lamar Light Service currently pays the city $495 per month and provides maintenance such as janitorial, mowing, snow plowing and runway lighting repair as some of the services rendered. Mayor Stagner suggested the agreement be written with an addendum to reflect the actual payments made for janitorial services at the airport, although the agreement was approved with that alteration. Pat Mason, Lamar Public Works Director, told the council the airport was in the best shape he had ever seen in years. The Lamar Airport continues to enjoy a regional reputation as being one of the best small-sized airports in the state.

The council will price several portable road signs, alerting motorists they will encounter pedestrian activities up ahead. “I noticed during last Thursday’s Moonlight Madness event, some vehicles were stopping to let people cross over on Main Street, while others kept on going,” explained councilman Kirk Crespin. He suggested the city look into pricing the yellow and black, three feet by two feet, signs which are on wheels and can be folded away when not in use.

A house fire at 1009 South 8th Street in Lamar severely damaged the building ten years ago and the structure has been boarded and posted as an unsafe structure.   The owner has agreed to let the city demolish the building and remove the debris from the lot. The cost is approximately $1,500 and that will be filed as a lien against the property. The owner will have until November 30, 2019 to remove any personal property from the premises.

The council delayed approval of several fee increases for the use of public facilities and for services provided by the City of Lamar until a new draft has been written for consideration and action. Those areas which will be impacted include the Lamar Police Department, Fire Department, Parks and Recreation Department, Water Department and Library. Fees have been attached to the rental of the Rotary Shelter and Lions Shelter at Willow Creek Park at $25 per rental, open burn permits, copies of current records and some docket fees for municipal offenses. These will go into effect in 2020 along with increases in water usage rates which are recommended to go up by $1.00 each for in-city water connections and $2.00 per service for those residents who are outside the city boundaries.

Kristin McCrea, City Treasurer, informed the council that the city’s uncollectible accounts for 2018 amounted to $86,230.90 which included utilities, water and sanitation. The majority of the write offs were for electric service. McCrea said this is an annual bookkeeping event and the departments will continue to make efforts to collect as much of the fees as possible.

Calendar reminders included the switch to winter hours for Daylight Savings time, occurring on Sunday, November 3rd when we turn our clocks back an hour; the November General Election will be held Tuesday, November 5th. The local contest is between two councilpersons vying for the Mayor’s seat, Beverly Haggard and Kirk Crespin. The swearing in of the new mayor will be Tuesday, November 11th. The council monthly breakfast will be Wednesday, November 6th at Rivals on South Main Street from 7am to 8am. Mayor Stagner said some topics of discussion will be mentioned to the general public prior to the session. The Alta Vista Charter School Annual Pie Auction will be held from 5 to 7:30pm on Thursday, November 7th. The annual Lamar Chamber Farm City Banquet will be held at the Lamar Elks Lodge on Friday, November 8th with doors opening at 6:30pm and dinner at 7pm. The 45th Annual LCC Arts and Crafts festival is set for the Wellness Center on Saturday, November 9th from 9am to 4pm. The council went into executive session to discuss a personnel matter, CRS 24-6-402(4)(f). The next council session on November 11th will include two meetings, the first with the regular council line-up and the second to follow, after the swearing in of Lamar’s new Mayor.
By Russ Baldwin

 

 

 

 

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyElectionsFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyTransportationUtilitiesWater

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