City Council Okays Water Distribution Projects




Lamar City Administrator, Steve Kil, noted several areas of council interest on the calendar during the February 8th meeting, including improvements that had been planned for the Public Meeting Room in council chambers. The facelift includes a new sound system and council digital voting system for display. There is also new seating for the public and lighting and painting improvements. Some additional work remains. The last upgrade was about 25 years ago.

The council re-submitted a Tier 1 Grant application to fund half, or $71,818 of funding need to complete an update to the sewer and water master plan for the city. The total cost is estimated at $143,636. This will cover costs for a comprehensive evaluation of Lamar’s current water and wastewater treatment facilities, assessment of distribution and collection systems, capital improvements needed for future wastewater treatment and a rate study for both water and sewer systems.

A loan for $1,089,200 has been secured with the Drinking Water Revolving Fund, allowing the city to move forward on a new water main stretching from Cedar Street to Savage Avenue.   The city will coordinate with the current CDOT 287 reconstruction project to minimize any interference with their project running from Savage Avenue south as well as the train track crossing on Main Street. Community Development Director, Morgan Becker, secured a grant for $4,500 which will help defer the cost of flowers for the Main Street planters for the summer. Preliminary construction is expected to start in mid-March.

The council set a tentative date in June for a city council and department strategic planning session which will be facilitated by Dr. Linda Lujan, President of Lamar Community College. The last meeting was held three years ago. Mayor Kirk Crespin said he had reviewed the recommendations made at that meeting and the city is pretty much on mark for meeting those goals. The next meeting will asses those gains and outline new priorities for the City of Lamar.

The intergovernmental agreement between the City of Lamar and Lamar Community College for the COPERR (Colorado Partnership for Education and Rural Revitalization) Project was tabled by the council, pending approval of the contract from the State Attorney General. The agreement calls for LCC and the city to join other communities and colleges in southeast Colorado in sharing $5 million to help train construction workers and increase the number of affordable housing units in seven counties according to a statement from Colorado Attorney General, Phil Weiser. The project stems from a $25 billion multi-state settlement from 2012 funded by five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. Colorado’s share is $50,170,188 with more than $18 million to be earmarked on affording housing programs. The intergovernmental agreement covers four years and $199,752 received by Lamar Community College in the grant. The city and the college agree to combine their resources to help rehabilitate substandard housing in LCC’s service area.

The council voted to award the bid of $59,456 from Southeastern Colorado Builders to install a new Behlen brand steel building to house canoes and kayaks at North Gateway Park. This is part of an overall project to open the park to residents and visitors alike, generating more interest in outdoor activities. The building is expected to be completed within 90 days of the initial grant. Craig Brooks, the city’s Chief Building Inspector, said the building will measure about 40 by 60 feet. City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, explained the funding is being supplied by a repurposed Inspire Grant received by the city several years ago.

The city awarded a bid to GN Bank for a five-year lease to purchase assorted GIS (geographic information system) Trimble mapping equipment. The interest rate will be 2.99% for a five-year total of $53,296.24. The city approved an agreement with Steerman Law Firm for services for 2021 at a rate of $165 per hour, the same as for 2020. The city agreed to a new annual contract with Southeast Wellness Works for a fourth year to provide assistance for city employees who are experiencing substance problems. The Lamar Police Department approved a new agreement with Domestic Safety Resource Center which will provide assistance to victims of these types of calls. An agreement between the city and the Lamar Savage Booster Club for their concession stand at the Lamar Community Building was approved until the end of this April after which an update on the original 1997 contract will be put into play. The city receives 8% of the net income for the year. Lamar Building Material Supply had their bid of $18,480 approved for the purchase of fertilizer for the fall and spring seasons. The council approved an incentive package Letter of Intent, for Scooters Coffee, a new venture being brought to Lamar in the near future by owner, Dale Willhite. The agreement covers a property and sales tax incentive package over five years which will be funded through the Urban Renewal Authority. The new venture is currently being built on a new road in Lamar, named last year as Sword Street and is positioned between The Cow Palace and Lamar Inn off North Main Street.

The City of Lamar accepted 31,284 square feet of property from Chris Currell including 261.66 feet of the city’s College Road on his property. The quit claim deed names the property as “Unnumbered Tract County Village South Filing #1”. The acceptance of the property helps alleviate a College Road issue for the city as well as a right-of-way. The property is located due south of College Road where it intersects with Memorial Drive.

The council has decided to discontinue its informal monthly breakfast meetings, traditionally held at 7am on the first Wednesday of each month at various restaurants in the city. They had recently been halted due to the pandemic and had received little participation by local residents in the twelve years or so that they had been held. The council agreed to a family-style cookout at Willow Creek Park later this year, probably in June, which will allow residents to enjoy a free meal and evening swimming in the municipal pool, while mixing with council staff and department heads.

Some council members and Administrator Kil plan to schedule a meeting with the managers of Walmart and Safeway to bring to light concerns from the council and adjacent property owners, about the constant level of trash accumulating in the vicinity of the two businesses.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEmploymentFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyTransportationUtilitiesWater


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