New Members Join the City Council Line-up, New Concrete Work Planned for South Main Street


The Lamar Redevelopment Authority ratified a December 6th phone poll approving the submission of a letter of support to the City of Lamar. The letter will be included in a Brownsfield Grant application to help defray costs with the abatement, demolition and removal of the former Troy Manor Motel which is located just south of the Prowers County Annex on South Main Street in Lamar. The building had been offered for sale for some years, but the condition of the motel has deteriorated significantly over time.

The Brownsfield assessment and grant will help to alleviate what has become a prominent eyesore along Lamar’s Main Street for commercials business, and clear the way for future business opportunities to consider as a development site.

Lamar City Council for 2020

Judge Lane Porter officiated at the swearing-in of the city’s newest councilmembers, Manuel Tamez from Ward l and Joe Gonzales representing Ward lll. With the new council line-up, members briefly discussed which boards and commissions they would represent to the City of Lamar and decided to table any decision after taking a closer look at the timing of the meetings. The positions which became open with the election were the Library Advisory Board, Planning and Zoning Commission and Water Advisory Board. Former councilperson, Beverly Haggard had served as the city’s liaison to the Ports to Plains organization during her position with the council.

Haggard informed the council on the latest funding received by the Ports to Plains Coalition. “In the past year, southeast Colorado has received close to $56M to develop a ‘Super Two’ series of passing lanes along Highway 287 up to Limon,” she said. Haggard added that a study for exact placement of the three lane stretches will need to be conducted. She didn’t go into many specifics but said she has learned that the southern stretch of Lamar’s Mai Street is planned to be repaved with concrete in the near future. “We expect to see bidding on the project move forward in the next three to four months,” she told the council.

The city will receive funding from a DoLA mini-grant of $10,000 for downtown artwork, painting light poles and creation of a downtown app to enhance the Main Street District. The grant calls for a 25% cash match of $3,335 which has been incorporated into the grant for a total of $13,335. The app will help promote a walking tour of Lamar’s historic district, businesses and events and to promote the Lamar Partnership Incorporated organization. “We don’t have permission to create the app at this point, but we’re showing that this form of social media would be more effective for informing residents and visitors of our Main Street attractions. Over the past few years, when we have visitors, we’ve found that packets with coupons for local stores haven’t been that effective,” she explained, adding that the app could also be very helpful in just laying out a map of the downtown districts.

The council voted to fund the purchase of a 2019 sewer cleaning truck. The purchase price of the city’s new vehicle is $430,000. The unit can be used in case of sewer back-ups, which if not fixed immediately can cause property damage and basement flooding. The truck will also be used to clean sewer mains and can be used as a hydro excavator when needed. The current truck is 13 years old and is showing its age. The council’s approval will allow the city to begin to advertise for bids for financing for a ten-year repayment program. A suggestion was also made to try to get the best price as a trade-in our outright sale of the current truck.

The Lamar Ambulance Service was given permission by the council to apply for $6,090 in funding from the SECRETAC Regional EMS organization which serves six counties in southeast Colorado. Prowers County acts as the pass-through for the funding which will be used to purchase emergency medical equipment.

A dispute over the final costs of accessory equipment on the city’s new fire truck developed recently. The council has authorized the City Attorney, Garth Neischburg, and city staff to resolve the purchase price so the city can accept delivery of the new vehicle. The company which manufactured the truck, Front Range Fire Apparatus, claimed the city owned an additional $24,398.24 above the original agreed price. The council authorized the City Attorney and department heads to contact the manufacturer, inform them of the city’s offer and see if they will take the price on the table.

Opal’s Has Been Under Past Consideration

The Lamar City Council, acting on the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission, set January 13, 2020 as the date for a public hearing on an annexation request from Mahakali Investment, LLC, aka Peter Patel. Patel owns property located at 1408, 1412, 1412.5 and 1416 North Main Street as well as .79 acres located within the City’s municipal boundary and is requesting the city annex 5.03 acres of their property not currently located within the City’s municipal boundaries. The land runs generally north to south along Main Street, just south of the Arkansas River. The land is intended to be developed for Hotel and Hospitality commercial interests.

The council approved a motion to ratify an earlier phone poll allowing the City Treasurer to sign a financial management agreement with the City Auditor to complete a letter of compliance to the State of Colorado for the city’s landfill compliance.

The council calendar noted the first day of winter will be Sunday, December 22nd, City offices will be closed December 24th and 25th as well as Wednesday, January 1st. The Lamar City Council informal breakfast will be held Wednesday, January 8th at Rancher’s Restaurant. Lamar Rotary will hold their free Kid’s Christmas Crafting day with Santa Claus on December 21st at the Shore Arts Center.

City Attorney, Garth Neischburg, told the council, an earlier resolution initiating demolition proceedings against the Burkhart properties on South Mullen Street should have read #103 instead of #107 South Mullen Street.

The council moved into two executive sessions following the general meeting, discussing the evaluation of the City Clerk and to develop strategy for negotiations and instructing negotiators under C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(e).

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedHot TopicsPublic SafetyTourismUtilities


About the Author: