Residential Development Incentive Package Approved by Lamar City Council



The Lamar City Council approved Resolution 20-03-01 for a new residential development and construction incentive program during its March 9th meeting. This follows a March 2nd work session at which time the program to help promote new home construction and new residential developments was discussed. The resolution authorizes a one-year incentive program featuring a 50% reduction in the building permit fee for new home construction and a 50% cost-sharing program for public infrastructure for several new residential developments, up to a maximum of $5,000 per lot for 20 lots. City administrator, Steve Kil, told the council three developers have closed on properties in Lamar and more progress on those properties would be expected in the near future.

Construction of new housing in Lamar has slowed to almost a stand-still over the past decade. A survey commissioned from the Community Strategies Institute by SECED in 2017 showed that in Prowers County, the peak building period was achieved before 1939 with 1,513 units built, followed by a downturn in subsequent decades until the county realized a second growth spurt of 1,008 units built between 1970-79. Another downturn was experienced in subsequent decades which declined to 402 built between 2000 to 2009, 32 from 2010 to 2013 and seven built after 2014. Only a handful of single-family homes have been constructed in Lamar in the past five years.

The Lamar City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Prairieland Packing, LLC to dispose of the company’s solid waste in the Lamar Landfill. Curtis Temple approached the council earlier this year asking that waste from his proposed packing house in Granada be accepted. The council gave a verbal approval, pending the development of a one-year MOU. The agreement stipulates that the company will be charged $70 per ton for waste deposits and $100 per hour handling fee. Temple stated earlier that he expects his plant to be in operation in one year from groundbreaking.

CDOT has planned to construct ADA improvements along Main Street in Lamar between Savage Avenue and Hickory Street, just past the BNSF train tracks. The council accepted the offer from the state for $1,550 for the purchase of right-of-way and temporary and permanent easement for the project.

South View of Parking Lot just North of Lamar Inn

A letter of intent from the City of Lamar to Palace Holdings, LLC was approved by the council to roto-mill and remove two inches of asphalt from the Cow Palace Inn parking lot and replace it with new hot mix asphalt. The estimated cost of equipment and labor is $55,000. The letter of intent specifies that the project will be contingent on equipment at the time the project can move forward, which would be when 80% of renovation and construction of the property is complete. Owner, Doug Thrall, intends for a Clarion Inn and Suites Hotel to replace the Cow Palace Inn. The non-exclusive offer from the city will remain in effect for one year.

‘Tis the season…as the Lamar Redevelopment Authority approved the purchase of $5,000 for new downtown Christmas decorations. Community Development Director, Angie Cue, told the council some of the city’s pole decorations are 40 years or older. CDOT highway construction last year increased the number of street light poles from 24 to 48. The LRA approved $5,000 for new decorations. “We’ll have a mixture of decorations and as some of the older ones are five feet tall, while the newer ones will range between seven and eight feet,” she explained.

Steerman Law Firm Offices will assume the duties of the Lamar City Council Attorney as legal counsel, but not specifically as City Attorney. Garth Nieschburg, who has held that position for several years announced his retirement several weeks ago. The council approved a letter of engagement with the Steerman law. Administrator Kil explained this arrangement can help the city save on legal fees, “While an attorney would attend every meeting, a law firm as legal counsel would not be required to and would attend on an as-needed basis.”

The Lamar Police Department will provide security services for this year’s Lamar After-Prom activities at the Lamar Community Building on Sunday, April 12th.

The dates of future community activities were noted including the annual PEP meeting on March 26th at the Lamar Eagles Lodge, the Lamar Chamber of Commerce annual banquet on Wednesday, April 8th at the Lamar Eagles Lodge and the spring city-wide clean-up day is set for Saturday, April 25th beginning at 7am.

By Russ Baldwin


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