Lamar Marijuana Ballot Questions Approved on First Reading

 

Voters in the City of Lamar will have two marijuana-related questions on their November 2, General Election ballot this year.  The Lamar City Council, during their July 12th meeting, presented the two ordinances creating the questions.  One deals with authorization to establish and operate medical and retail marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing facilities and the sale of medical and retail marijuana products within city limits.  The ordinance for the second, follow-up ballot question, concerns a new special sales tax and excise tax to be placed on the sale of retail marijuana products and accessories.

Following the 2010 general election, the Lamar City Council placed a moratorium on the commercial sale of marijuana based on that ballot question.  It is currently being enforced.  Both 2021 ballot questions must be passed by the voters in November for the legalized sales AND for the tax in order for sales to be allowed.  In effect, the 2010 moratorium would be eliminated.  A portion of the ordinance for sales, reads, “Furthermore, if either the Establishment and Operation of Marijuana Businesses measure or the Marijuana Tax Measure is not approved by voters then the moratorium established in 2010 will continue,”.  If both questions are approved, the city council can then create ordinances which regulate permitting, licensing, tax, zoning signage or other facets of sales or manufacturing.  If any one of the two questions fails to pass the ballot, the moratorium will remain in effect.  The council passed both ordinances on first reading.

Mayor Kirk Crespin announced the city administrator search has been narrowed to five candidates and personal interviews will be conducted in Lamar on Friday, July 30th.  “We have a great pool of candidates to interview,” he said, adding that department heads will also meet with the five and they will be given a tour of the city.  Crespin and the council decided to combine a planned community social gathering with the interview date and as such, the candidates and general public will have an opportunity to meet with each other beginning at 5:30pm that afternoon at the city complex.

Following a public hearing, the council approved the annual request from the Sand and Sage Round-Up committee for their beer garden at the Prowers County Fairgrounds for August 7 and from August 12-14 during portions of the fair.  The council also set August 9, 2021 as a date for a public hearing on the Lamar Elks Lodge request for a beer garden on August 20-21 at the Shore Arts Center Pocket Park during the Downtown Custom & CLASSIC Expo Car Show.  The council also approved an ordinance on first reading which allows for the adoption of the new 2018 International Building Codes to maintain pace with the development of modern building materials and methods not included in the 2006 code.

An application form for consideration of membership to the newly formed Public Safety Board was approved by the council.  The board will be comprised of the Police and Fire Department chiefs, as well as five additional citizens of the City of Lamar.  The form determines the amount of prior experience a candidate may have had with fire and police operations as well as HIPPA confidentiality safeguards.  The board is still a work in progress, following initial council discussions for its creation which began in 2020.

Cruikshank Realty is scheduled to handle the listing for the former Troy Manor property at 1101 South Main Street, recently demolished by the City of Lamar.  An earlier agreement between the city and Cruikshank Realty transferred the property to the city at fair market value.  The lot is measured at 14,000 square feet or 0.32 acres and is a corner lot with access to all utilities.  Mayor Crespin said a representative from the Mini-Mart franchise contacted the city with an interest in the property a year ago.  He said he’ll contact the company to see if they still have an interest in the land and if so, offer them the first right to make a bid.  Approval was tabled by the council pending a formal contract agreement between the city and Cruikshank Realty.

An intergovernmental agreement between the city and Lamar Community College was approved to foster the COPERR project.  The program, initiated from the Colorado Attorney General’s office, consists of working on blighted homes in a community in conjunction with the college’s Construction Trades Class.  The city has a listing of just over 100 potential properties that qualify for the renovation/repair program.  Similar projects are developing for Otero Jr. College and in Trinidad.

The council issued a reminder to those Lamar residents who had any tree limbs and branches come down during last Friday’s wind storm, to place any debris in the front of their yard, but not in the curb for collection by city crews.

By Russ Baldwin

 

Filed Under: AgricultureCity of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyElectionsEnvironmentFeaturedHealthPoliticsUtilities

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