Lamar Council Approves Electric Charging Stations

Can Power Different Electric Vehicles



The Lamar City Council voted to meet the growing demand for charge stations for vehicles using electricity for their main power source.  The action came following considerable discussion during the October 11th meeting over how the location of the two proposals would encroach on daily traffic around the Lamar Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center and especially during special events throughout the year.  One single charge point station has been located at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce parking lot for the past three years, but it is a level-one, slow-charger, requiring as many as four hours for one vehicle.

Two new systems have been recommended, one on East Beech Street and another in the Chamber of Commerce Parking lot.  One agreement calls for eight bays for Tesla vehicles on the south side of the train and water tower display.  The other agreement, with ChargePoint LLC, also calls for additional, faster chargers, approximately 30 minutes in duration, which places them on the north side of the parking lot, closer to the Enchanted Forest stage and to the east of the current charge station.

The placement of both locations drew concern from some council members who felt it would interfere with future events held at the Welcome Center and at the Chamber such as the Oktoberfest, Parade of Lights of downtown car shows.  Councilman Joe Gonzales, who voted no on the Tesla proposal, and with councilman Oscar Riley, who abstained, suggested the station simply be moved to the south side of East Beech and adjacent to the municipal parking lot.  While other location suggestions in the vicinity moved them away from crowds, the current underground infrastructure is best suited for the proposed locations.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, asked the Tesla representative for information regarding state laws should a gas-powered vehicle occupy an electric charge parking space.  The Tesla rep replied that, to the best of his knowledge, there was a $150 fine for that violation.  He said he would provide the chief with several towns using Tesla to find out how their ordinances dealt with the potential problem.  Asked if hotels or other privately owned business wouldn’t benefit from having quicker level three stations at their sights, the Tesla representative said that hotels are better suited for longer charging times, given that the patrons are usually going to spend an overnight and have no need for the quicker, more expensive hook-up.

Trucks and vehicles with trailers will be provided with a space under the plans for ChargePoint, where they can access the hook-up by using the roadway to the north of the Enchanted Forest which parallels the train tracks, but they will probably have to back out the way they drove in, once charged.

Tesla, the representative told the council, noted that there will be more and more electric vehicles on the roads and his company determined that Lamar is in a prime location, given there are no Tesla charge locations between Limon and Amarillo with others in Goodland, Pueblo, Hays or Salida.  “While drivers are charging their vehicles, they will be drawn to your downtown area, to shop, become acquainted with your community and make future use of the stations in their future travels,” he said.

The Lamar Redevelopment Board held a public hearing regarding the 2022 budget during the October 11th, 2021 meeting in City Council chambers.  Operating revenues are posted at $244,975 based in part on property taxes of $180,000 and a fund balance transfer of $63,875.  Operating expenditures are balanced at $244,975 based on undesignated projects for the new year at $200,000.  The Fund Balance at the beginning of 2022 will be $570,136.

Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin reminded the audience of a public forum to discuss the marijuana ballot questions for the November 23rd General Election as well as to hear from those candidates seeking a seat on the City Council.  The forum begins at 6pm, Wednesday, October 13th at City Council Chambers.  The annual fund-raising event for Lamar Community College, Boots, Bling and Blessings will be held on Saturday, October 16th from 6-9pm at the Equine Complex and Moonlight Madness will be held from 6-8pm, Thursday, October 28th throughout downtown Lamar and will be highlighted by a window decoration contest.

The council approved Resolution 21-10-01 renaming Commercial Street at Sandoval Lane.  The street runs north to south between East Maple Street and Avenida Colonia.  The family, which purchased the first property there in 1951 through Carrie and Thomas Sandoval, requested the name change. The family purchased additional lots over the years on that road.  No public hearing is required as only a name change is involved in the process with no increase or deletion from the city’s total street mileage.  Numerous family members were on hand for the resolution with several highlighting the Sandoval’s family history through several generations.

A public hearing was held regarding the city’s 2022 budget which was passed without comment or adjustment.  The 2022 budget for Lamar Light and Power was presented to the council by Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh in conjunction with the 2022 public hearing.  The details were presented in an earlier article of The Prowers Journal.    The annual Mill Levy ordinance for 2022 was also passed on first reading.  Staff recommends the mill levy to be set at 13.239 mills upon each dollar of the total valuation for assessment of all taxable property within the city for 2021.  Collections are estimated at $458,835 for 2022, an increase of 4.8% from $437,817 in 2021 and the 34th consecutive year the property tax mill levy has not been increased.

The Lamar Police Department will use a grant allocation of $25,695 to upgrade the data storage capacity for body cameras for its officers, part of a $6M grant from Colorado House and Senate bills allocating funds for upgrades.  Chief Miller told the council the department will provide security services for the 2021 annual Holiday Basketball Tournament, set for December 17th and 18th.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyRecreationTourismTransportationUtilities


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