Funding Available for Various Lamar Municipal Projects



The City of Lamar is moving forward with plans to develop recreational outlets for visitors and local residents. Recently Greater Outdoors Colorado informed the city it could use previous grant funding for capital improvement projects. The city now has $656,000 made up from GoCO, the city’s Conservation Trust Fund and Community Partnership contributors. The areas being considered are North Gateway Park, an upgrade for the Sports Complex for construction of a playground, the city tennis courts and revamping Escondido Park into an NCAA size soccer field and a practice field. The council is submitting these projects to bid. Mayor Kirk Crespin and City Administrator Steve Kil informed the council that Lamar Community College will be a contributor to the development of the soccer field and an adjacent practice field. A letter of support from LCC President, Dr. Linda Jujan, said Crespin, indicated the college is expanding its athletic program for soccer competition. Crespin suggested that once completed, the park could be renamed ‘Lopes Field’ or a combination of Escondido Park noting the college’s affiliation. Kil added there would be an opportunity for a commercial venture for a concession stand similar to past practices the city has had with local sports support groups.

House Doctors submitted the low bid of $11,600 to remove old wooden decking, handrails and stairs for the stage at the Enchanted Forest at the edge of the Lamar Chamber of Commerce parking lot. They will be replaced by a more durable composite material. Lamar Partnership Incorporated received five bids, mostly from local contractors for the project. The funds are being provided by the Department of Local Affairs mini-grant which will fund the city for various projects up to $10,000 a year for five years.

The operations at the Southeast Colorado Regional Airport are not immune to changes brought about by the pandemic. The Airport Board, in concert with the engineering firm Jviation, the airports Fixed Base Operator (FBO) and the city, decided the airport would benefit from an automated fueling system, eliminating the need for additional physical contact and the potential spread of COVID-19 among staff and airport patrons. The council made a formal recommendation for the fueling system upgrade during its meeting Monday evening. The approval will be contingent on the city attorney’s review and how revenue comes into play with the Covid related CARES act. The approximate cost of the system is estimated at $77,366.92 according to Kil.

The Lamar City Council briefly noted the seven bids submitted for the demolition of Troy Manor on South Main Street, a project which will remove the derelict motel and clear the area for potential economic development. Bids were issued with necessary safety protocols in mind, due to the asbestos content of the buildings. The low bidder was Regional Asbestos from Aurora at $205,697 and the high bidder was ARC Abatement from Broomfield at $561,120. One local bid was also received.

Administrator Kil updated the council on construction progress underway at North Gateway Park. He said city crews have completed the concrete installation for a pavilion at pond #2, the first step in creating the city’s planned outdoor water recreation area at the site. The comprehensive plan includes a beach area, restrooms and a kayak/paddleboard rental site.

The council approved an agreement with the Colorado Department of Revenue for a Sales and Use Tax software package for future collections by the city. The Lamar Police Department is making its annual application for the Victim’s Assistance and Law Enforcement (VALE) Grant to finance the “Victim’s Rights Act” notification. Last year the department was awarded $13,850 and the request for 2021 is $15,384 as outlined by Police Chief Kyle Miller during the meeting.

The council is putting a committee together to see if a Board of Safety is warranted for the city, pertaining to the operation and performance of basically the police and fire departments. Administrator Kil said this group will produce a rough draft for consideration by the council and will be comprised of himself, a representative from the police and fire department, two council members and the city attorney if and when his input is needed. “I don’t expect this to be done with any apparent sense of urgency,” Kil explained, adding that a first recommendation may take as long as five months to produce. Mayor Crespin said the committee will not be tasked with any form of micro-managing the departments, but will offer a form of transparency on how the departments perform and offer a means of citizen input should there be a complaint of some nature or explanation as to how or why some procedure was performed, “This is by no means a critique on the level of trust we have in these departments,” he explained, adding the committee can offer a level of validation for the departments to the community. Kil said applicants to the committee, once formed, will have to pass about three levels of criteria to be considered. “We’re not opening the doors for anyone who may have an axe to grind,” he stated.

Premier Earthworks and Infrastructure, Inc was awarded the bid for the Washington Street Lift Station project. The engineer’s estimate of the cost was $530,750 and the bid submitted to the city was $563,900. The project involves replacing the current storm water pump station on Washington Street and the adjacent outfall structure at the Lamar Canal. The second of two bids received was priced at $737,914.

The council noted that Moonlight Madness will be held Thursday, October 29th this month and set December 21st as the only meeting date for that month per the reduced workload and proximity to the Christmas holiday. The council moved to go into executive session for a routine evaluation of the City Administrator’s performance.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedPublic SafetyRecreationTourismUtilitiesWater


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