Council Approves Land Purchase

 

 

The Lamar City Council approved buying two, twenty-foot parcels of land adjacent to the property at 1002 North Main Street.  During a prior meeting on November 8th, the council expressed its willingness for the purchase, but tabled the matter pending receipt of the contracts from a potential business developer and a review by City Attorney, Lance Clark.  Mayor Crespin said the larger land purchase of $250,000 by the city, held the property for a business developer who would reimburse the cost of the purchases in the final contract.  While not specifying any particular franchise, he did say the developer wanted the additional parcels to accommodate two, drive-through lanes.  One property was purchased for $25,000 and an estimated $8,000 in kind work by the city.  The other section of land sold for $37,500.  Mayor Crespin, during the November 22nd meeting, said the deal, in his view, was a “Win-Win” transaction.  The building that now occupies the land will be dismantled and rebuilt to be used to store city-owned equipment on a different location.

Two persons came before the council to discuss the passage of the marijuana questions posted on the November election ballot.  Twyla Batterton presented a recent article from People magazine which highlighted the level of THC in marijuana products, noting that she is very allergic to the substance and her health was impacted just be being in the vicinity of the short-lived hemp storage area at the former K-Mart Building behind the Community State Bank on North Main Street.

Belinda Sturges stated she had concerns regarding the petition process that initiated the two marijuana questions being allowed on the ballot.  One question dealt with the legalization of public sales of marijuana products and the other with setting a sales tax on the proceeds.  Sturges asked the council about the payment process and legalities of the way the petition was put on the ballot.  Mayor Crespin said the council had been made aware of the situation and held an executive session to discuss any potential ramifications.  City Attorney, Lance Clark, replied that these questions are currently under legal review and the council’s public forum wasn’t the best medium to hold a question and answer session.

Later, Crespin reiterated his earlier estimate that it wouldn’t be until early 2023 before the council has finished assessing how best to regulate the public sale of marijuana in Lamar and set a series of ordinances to determine the application process or limit the number of businesses that would be allowed or the question of zoning ordinances that would specify where pot shops could open for business within the city limits.  To that end, the mayor cautioned anyone from buying property now, in hopes of selling it later to a marijuana manufacturer or retail outlet.  The council discussed reestablishing a research committee to oversee the ramifications of having legal sales in the community and decided to keep the membership to municipal employees as well as invite Prowers County as this process was more of a political matter.  The public will still have opportunities to weigh in on their comments or concerns through the year in a forum setting.

The council approved the city’s 2022 Optional Coverage Quotes and Certificates of Insurance Renewal, as presented by Margaret Saldana, Human Resource Director.  There were five quotes from the city’s risk insurance provider, CIRSA, which covered items from Detainee Medical Coverage to Equipment Breakdown.

Resolution 21-11-02 was passed, a yearly housekeeping action, approving the interest rate for the year, to be paid on customer utility deposits.  As authorized by the State Public Utility Commission, the rate for 2022 decreased from 0.66% from 2021 to 0.08% for the approaching year.

Mayor Crespin noted the city offices will be closed November 25-26; the council public breakfast meeting will be held from 7 to 8am at Subway on Wednesday, December 1st, the annual Lamar Chamber of Commerce Parade of Lights will be held Friday at 6pm on December 3rd with the theme, “Christmas for Cowboys and Cowgirls” and the Friends of the Lamar Library monthly book sale will run from 9am to 1pm on December 3rd and 4th.  The council decided to hold only one meeting in December, set for Monday, the 13th.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesCOVID-19FeaturedHealthPublic Safety

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