Cobblestone Hotel Groundbreaking Set for October 6th, Joe Giadone Honored

 

 

The Lamar City Council approved a modification of the incentive package for BriMark Buildings Construction, LLC for the Cobblestone Hotel Development project during their September 27th meeting.  Their attorneys had requested a change from the City and Redevelopment Authority Board regarding the Substantial Completion Date clause, as long as the owner is in good faith and pursuing the completion within a commercially feasible timeframe.  Cobblestone has asked for a six-month extension on the completion date and pending new language approval on an agreement written by City Attorney, Lance Clark, groundbreaking will take place at 1215 North Main Street at 10am on Wednesday, October 6th.  Plans for the new motel call for a three-story, 54 room complex to be located just off the new Scooter’s Coffee Shop and north of the Lamar Inn.  The Lakin, KS Cobblestone Inn offers 45 rooms and the one in Eads offers 33 rooms.

In an effort to provide community awareness of events, businesses and services, the council approved a Memorandum of Understanding and contract for CityByApp.  The city is partnering with various organizations to provide funding for five years for the subscription agreement.  The city’s share will be $5,000 a year for five years.  Prowers Economic Prosperity is funding the same amount, Lamar Light and Power is contribution $2,000 for five years, the Lamar Chamber of Commerce is on board for a total of $12,500, PMC for a total of $10,000 and LCC for $5,000.  CityByApp would provide, in part:  GPS Map for places to eat-drink, shop and overnight; City Forms and Records, News/Weather/Live Traffic, Real Estate News, Police and Fire Department websites, job postings and local searches, library and parks and rec websites, chamber website, Neighborhood Watch Group and other offerings.  The app, according to city media director, Martha Alvarez, should take 180 days to set up and become available in early 2022.

Mrs. Carolyn “Sue” Giadone was presented a plaque by Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, in honor of her husband, Joe Giadone, who served on the Lamar Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement Board from June 10, 1991 to May 6, 2019.  The council expressed its thanks for Joe Giadone’s time, guidance and friendship that helped the board move forward with the change of time.  Giadone had served as Prowers County Coroner for numerous years.  Chief Miller cited Joe Giadone’s love of community that was evident through his 28 years of community service on the board.  The board commissioned two plaques, engraved with his likeness, one for his wife, Sue, and the other will be on display in the city’s municipal building.

Terry Sanchez, Director of Operations Herbal Garden LLC, discussed marijuana tax revenues which would become available to Lamar with the passage of two initiative ballots appearing on the November General Election ballot.  He was open to questions regarding the legalization of marijuana.  When asked by councilman Oscar Riley, if his group would sell medical marijuana products, Sanchez replied that it won’t, given there are many more regulations attached to that type of transaction.  “Would it be possible to set up some type of town hall forum where the public would be able to ask questions of us, or make comments on the approaching ballot,” he asked the council.  The Zonta group was suggested, having hosted other politically oriented forums in the past.  Sanchez stressed the tax ballot question tied to passage of legalization of recreational sales in the city is a user’s tax only.  “The only time that tax will be applied is when someone makes a marijuana purchase,” he reiterated.

The council approved an agreement presented by Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, who explained that the LPD has begun paying for individuals who receive training at the police academy and would seek employment with the Lamar department.  The agreement ensures that those persons will stay with the city for a minimum of two years.  If they do not, they will reimburse the city at a prorated amount.  While the training costs may vary per student, the general tuition is in the vicinity of $12,000.  Miller noted that a student must pass the tests within three tries or they will not be able to become a law officer in Colorado and the costs of tuition must be reimbursed in full under the agreement.

Doug Eastin was appointed to the city’s Adjustment and Appeals board for a five-year term, replacing Brian Estes in his unfinished term.  Sean Lirley was re-appointed to the Variance Board/Building Codes for a five-year term.  Bradley Young was appointed to the city’s Water Board for a five-year term.  Rayce Coen is replacing Shane Wollert on the Airport Advisory Board till the end of his appointment expiring February 2022 and Scott Reed has been appointed to a five-year term replacing Peter Page on the airport board.

The city is moving forward with renovations to the Main Café at 114 South Main Street in Lamar.  The building has been vacant for several years.  The council issued request for proposals to six contractors to prepare construction documents, specifications and structural engineering costs for the former restaurant and second floor living space.  A single bid from Form + Works Design Group from Eastlake, Colorado was submitted for $133,325 and was approved by the council.  On that note, the council approved a grant application for a DoLA REDI grant for $150,000 for structural repairs to the Main Café, which, if approved, will be matched by $150,000 from the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.  The Design Group does not offer services regarding asbestos abatement and a separate firm will have to be employed to deal with that situation.  Community Development Director, Morgan Alba, told the council she will pursue other grant funding to help finance the project.

The city received an offer from the FAA in the form of an American Rescue Plan Act Grant for $32,000 to help cover the costs related to general airport operations including personnel, cleaning, sanitization and janitorial services, to help combat the spread of pathogens and cover debt service payments.  There is no match required for the grant which was forwarded with the council’s approval. GN Bank was awarded the bid out of two local banks for financing the 2021 Pierce Fire Truck for the City of Lamar’s lease agreement at an interest rate of 2.54% over ten years.  The amount financed is $659,455.33 and total interest payments will be $68,857.33.

The council discussed the availability of public hunting and fishing on city owned areas such as the greenbelt, ponds and lagoons, about 600 acres in all.  City’s Public Works Director, Pat Mason and Lamar Parks and Rec Director, Rick Akers said accessibility to these areas is through privately owned land and few owners are giving permission for the public to use their property.  Mason said one owner would be open to allow access for fishing, but not for hunting.  It was suggested that the council contact the Division of Wildlife to see if they would meet with the landowners to discuss any available options.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has unanimously recommended allowing Community State Bank and Lamar Community College to name the two new soccer fields at Escondido Park, based on the significant contributions both parties have made to the creation of these recreation areas.  The council will take up a matter of renaming Commercial Street in Lamar at the next meeting on October 11th.  The street is near the former Lamar Repowering Project.  A family has asked for the name change and the council will review a resolution allowing the request to move forward.

Margaret Saldana, the city’s HR Manager, presented the 2022 renewal quote from CIRSA, the city’s property and liability carrier which will note a 6.52% increase in the PC Pool.  The council authorized the mayor to sign the renewal agreement as well as the 2021 Workers Compensation Preliminary Contribution quote which has also increased.  The new, annual agreement with the County’s Health Pool for medical, dental, vision and life plans with the city was also approved.

The council approved an agreement with the Town of Walsh, to shelter any stray dogs from that community.  The number of dogs is expected to remain at a minimum.  Walsh will pay the City of Lamar, $20 for each dog delivered.  After five days, the animal will be available for adoption.  The council also approved a grant application to the Animal Assistance Foundation for $18,500 which will help cover the costs of the Lamar Shelter’s manager and various improvements to the facilities.

City Council with Official City Seal

La Lupita’s Restaurant at 1010 East Olive Street in Lamar was granted a New Hotel/Restaurant Liquor license by the council.  It was requested under the name of Melissa Felan.  The new seal for the City of Lamar was unveiled just prior to the meeting.  Measuring approximately three feet in diameter, the new emblem will be showcased at the forefront of the council.

By Russ Baldwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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