Council Moves Forward on Airport Administration

Small Jetliners at Lamar Airport

 

 

 

The Lamar City Council is moving forward with purchase plans for the municipal airport, having negotiated a purchase price from the Fixed Base Operators, Eric and Tanya McSwan. The council decided the best course of action, in light of the McSwan’s announcement to end their contract with the city earlier this year, would be to assume operations and develop an Aviation Department which would manage day-to-day activities at the airport. City Attorney, Lance Clark, will review contract language for the transaction and City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, has been directed to review the financial aspects of the purchase and cost of running the airport and provide a summary for the council’s next steps. City Administrator, Steve Kil, told the council during its March 22nd meeting, that the takeover is expected by the first of May. The agreed-upon price for the equipment and materials is $100,159. This sale includes two fuel trucks, one for jet fuel and another for everyday needs at a price of $41,000 for current fuel values. The council has a follow-up meeting on March 31st with the city’s Airport Advisory Board which will provide the group with updates on the transaction.

Excavation Work at Pond #3

Lamar City Administrator, Steve Kil, highlighted several municipal projects for the council including construction work for the kayak building on the corner of the eastern-most pond at North Gateway Park. Kil said the site is being excavated for the 40 by 40 foot building which will house the rental equipment. He said the beach area should be completed by the summer.

 

The council has set Friday, June 4th to host a community-wide, meet and greet which will offer a free hotdog BBQ at Willow Creek Park and free swimming from 7pm to 9pm. The event will provide an opportunity for residents to ask questions or make suggestions to council members and department heads in an informal setting.

The council decided to maintain the Stage 1 water restrictions which have been in place for the past several years. Currently, watering is not permitted between 11am and 6pm, the hottest part of the day, but watering is allowed seven days a week.

Following a public hearing, the council approved the transfer of the ownership/fermented malt beverage liquor license from Pilot Travel Centers, LLC to G. Aujla & Lamar, LLC at 708 North Main Street in Lamar. Mr. Aujla, who lives in Arizona, said his employees will follow all the safeguards needed for the sale of malt beverages to the public and intends to have his business stay active in community affairs.

Lamar High School Senior, Zane Rankin, was presented the Key to the City by Mayor Kirk Crespin. Rankin, Lamar’s first, 3-time state wrestling champion in the history of Lamar High School, was accompanied by his family and high school coaches during the presentation. Crespin commended the student on his outstanding athletic career as the council adopted Resolution 21-01 noting his accomplishments. Crespin declared that Thursday, March 25th, will be “Savage Spirit Day” in his honor and urged residents to fly their orange and black standard from their homes or businesses.

Several annual events will be enjoyed this season, having been prohibited last year by the pandemic. One of them is the annual Sand and Sage Round-Up Wild West Barbecue. Cindy Bennett and Diane Pool, committee representatives, received permission from the council for an overnight parking permit for contestants for Thursday and Friday, May 6th and 7th at Willow Creek Park. This will be the 17th year the group has hosted the cooking competition. Bennett said 27 teams have already registered for the event and this year, barbecue will be available for sale to the general public. Traditionally, the bbq meats have been used only for the judges as a taste-test and not for sale or general consumption. The local band from Buzzard’s Roost will entertain Friday evening until 10pm.

The council also approved use of a portion of Willow Creek Park to Ron Cook for the Lamar Days 25th Annual Rod Run and Car Show on May 15th. There is a possibility some vendors would like to stay overnight on the 14th to set up their displays the following day. Cook said the annual No-Booze Cruise will be held the Friday prior from Sonic Drive-In with the proceeds going to the annual Lamar Fire Department Fireworks Fund. He noted, “We usually generate about $1,2,00 to $1,500 in donations from that fun event.” Cook said an Easter Car Show Cruise is set for April 2nd starting from the Cow Palace parking lot at 7pm.

The council set April 12th for a public hearing for the Lamar Chamber of Commerce to host a beer garden for the annual Lamar Days events at the chamber parking lot on East Beech Street. The special events permit would allow the garden to operate from 5pm to 11pm on May 14th.

In lieu of a city-wide spring clean-up day, the council decided to allow free dumping at the landfill and transfer station each Friday through Sunday in April for Lamar residents. There will be no restrictions to the number of visits by a resident, and all general regulations will remain in place.

A new, five-year lease agreement for the Senior Center on East Olive Street was approved. The city leases a portion of the Center to the Colorado Department of Lamar and Employment for the local workforce operation. The proposal is similar to the current agreement which calls for a 2% rent increase each year. The first year rental is $16,033 and increases to $17,354 by the 5th year. The contract will be forwarded to the Attorney General for review prior to the June 30th deadline.

The council approved a contract amendment between the engineering firm Jviation and the city. The amendment, as explained by Public Works Director, Pat Mason, includes a variety of services amounting to $46,501 which will help extend concrete paving on one of the two main runways at the municipal airport. “This addition will help allow for larger aircraft to make use of the airport”, he explained, adding the $1.2M project will be funded through delayed Entitlement Funds which the city had deferred and allowed to accrue over the past several years.

The Lamar Police Department is getting two new pick-ups. Chief Kyle Miller said Community State Bank submitted the lowest lease purchase interest rate of 2.86% for the two vehicles priced at $57,488 with an annual payment of $12,089 for five years. The vehicles were included in this year’s budget. Chief Miller was given the go-ahead to apply for an annual POST grant of $8,349.59 for equipment purchases, mostly for ammunition and an on-line training subscription. Miller noted the Lamar Animal Shelter was approved this year for $13,400 for animal care and the spaying and neutering services from local veterinarians. An independent salary review board which provides guidelines for wages for municipal employees around the state determined that Lamar’s City Clerk provides a number of services beyond those in other similarly sized communities. As such, the group recommended the council upgrade the clerk’s current classification from 25 to 27 based on the extended duties of her role. The council voted to approve the recommendation which places the clerk in a Superintendent status.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyEnvironmentFeaturedLaw EnforcementPublic SafetySportsTransportationUtilitiesWaterYouth

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