Lamar Can Benefit from Switch of Funding Sources for Main Street Projects

Main Street Lamar



The Lamar City Council decided to go with a different funding source for civic improvement projects during its February 24th meeting. Community Development Director, Angie Cue, explained the estimated duration of the City of Lamar’s Main Street Streetscaping project, estimated at $500,000, could extend into 2023. Local CDOT engineers have expressed concerns that the planned resurfacing project could run from two to four years and could interfere with the streetscaping which would not be completed in time, estimated at June, 2023. The council followed the engineering recommendation that it withdraw from the CDOT TAP Grant and apply for the CDOT Multimodel Options Funds which are controlled by SECED, Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development. These new funds would have to be spent by June 2023, and would be granted at 100%, allowing for bridge construction costs, concrete approaches and easements. The city would be exempt for a match, up to $200,000. The city would have to apply for the TAP grant in 2024 to pay for concrete sidewalk work, but, Cue explained, the city would be in better shape for approval with a project that’s already outlined.

Floating Dock at North Gateway Park

Lamar Parks and Recreation will apply for a 2020 Technical Assistance Grant for $5,000 to help defray expenses for the construction for the concrete ADA ramp at the fishing pier at North Gateway Park. City Administrator, Steven Kil explained that the project will cost $12,460 and the balance after the grant, $7,460 will come from the Conservation Trust Fund. Grant projects must be completed by the end of 2020. Past projects at the park have included tree planting, adding parking lots, shade structures, tables, a restroom, BBQ grill and ADA fishing pier.

The council approved a letter of intent for Mr. and Mrs. Patel, current owners of the Quality Inn on North Main Street in Lamar. They’ve recently purchased the 5.75 acre site of land just north of the Holiday Inn Express and plan to construct an 80 room, three-story, Best Western Plus Inn and Suite, hotel with an estimated construction time of 24 months. The project, constructed by Mahakali Development, LLC, is expected to create 68 new jobs including construction, development and operations industries. The incentive package from the City of Lamar generally includes: Property Tax Abatement, Sales Tax Sharing, Utility Rebates, Environmental Site Analysis, Infrastructure Installation and related development expenses. It’s expected that the County will also offer its own incentive package. These packages, however, do not include the State of Colorado Enhanced Enterprize Zone Credits for which this project would be eligible.

Following a first reading, the council set March 23, 2020 for a public hearing for an ordinance detailing bed bug regulations for the city. The state recently adopted a new regulation, HB19-1328 which requires a tenant to notify a landlord should they suspect bedbugs within the dwelling. The landlord has 96 hours from that point to hire a pest management professional to inspect the premises and if needed, to treat the unit for infestation. The city has added to the house bill to include a public accommodation, such as hotels, motels and Airbnb’s.

Frontier Bank in Lamar was the low bidder and was awarded the financing from the city for the lease/purchase of a 2019 Vactor Truck. The total amount of financing is $430,057.20. A request for three vehicles from the Lamar Police Department was approved by the council. Police Chief Kyle Miller explained the purchase options for a 2020 Ram 1500 pick-up and two Ford Police Responder hybrid sedans. The pick up costs $17,638 and $51,350 for the two cars for a total of $68,988. These three will replace aging police vehicles still in use by the department. GNBank will handle the six year lease agreement.

The Home Store in Lamar was the low bidder for the city’s annual supply of fertilizer out of three submitted. The bid was for $11,388.

George S. Gotto was appointed to his first full, five year-term on the city’s Library Advisory Board. Librarian Susan Lathrop said Gotto was appointed earlier to fill Susan Hansen’s term. Lathrop said the other applicant, Janette Erdman will have her application kept on file in case of a future vacancy. The council renewed the annual warranty agreement for the library’s security gate and self-check machine. The cost for both agreements is $3,542.70. A demographic database contract was renewed for the library for three years for $1,050.

The council adopted Proclamation No.20-02, declaring April 1, 2020 as 2020 Census Day and March 29 through April 4, 2020 as 2020 Census Week. The proclamation explains the need for an accurate census every decade for the proper allocation of representatives to the legislative bodies of the U.S. House of Representatives and Colorado State Legislature.   It is also necessary for the correct apportionment of federal dollars for health, education, transportation, child and elder care and other similar services. Lamar residents are urged to support the work of Census takers throughout the community during this period.

Administrator Kil reminded the council of a planned work session for the Lamar Redevelopment Authority Board, Prowers Economic Prosperity and local developers on Monday evening, March 2nd at 6pm in council chambers. The council will hold their monthly informal breakfast at the Hickory House on Wednesday, March 4th from 7 to 8am and public is welcome to attend. The council acted on a request from Kiowa County officials to use the City of Lamar Building Inspection Services and offered a reminder to set our clocks ahead for the arrival of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, March 8th at 2am.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEmploymentFeaturedPublic SafetyRecreationTourismUtilities


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