Evans and Bellomy on Board for New Line-Up


Mayor Crespin, Rafael Rodriguez, City Administrator, Rob Evans

The Lamar City Council hosted a reception for the outgoing and incoming council members this past Monday, November 8th at the Cultural Events Center.  Two council sessions were held with the outgoing council meeting at 7pm and the incoming council meeting followed at 7:30pm.  A work session was also conducted at 6:30 to discuss and review proposed rates and fees for the City of Lamar which were approved in the later session.  The fees will apply to the cost of complying with local code enforcement violations, performed by the city, but charged to the property owner.

Judge Lane Porter Gives Oath of Office to Mike Bellomy

Councilmembers bid farewell to Rafael Rodriguez who is stepping down from his seat following the recent November General Election.  He is replaced by Mike Bellomy who was seated for his first meeting with the incoming council.  Rob Evans, the newly hired city administrator, also attended his first, in-person council meeting.

The council ratified a motion to submit a memorandum of understanding regarding the Colorado Opioids settlement against large pharmaceutical companies.  Once the settlement has been completed, the City of Lamar will receive a share of the settlement awarded to the state.  Mayor Crespin said the amount of funding will be based on the size of the settlement.

The council moved into executive session to complete its evaluation of the City Treasurer.

Oaths of office were given to Mayor Kirk Crespin who was re-elected for a new, two-year term and to incoming councilman, Mike Bellomy.  Oscar Riley and Manuel Tamez alsos renewed their oaths administered by Judge Lane Porter.  Anne-Marie Crampton was selected to retain her position as Mayor Pro-Tem.

The council set Wednesday, December 1st for its informal breakfast with the council which begins at 7am at Subway on North Main Street.  Administrator, Rob Evans, was welcomed to the city by Mayor Crespin and the council.  Evans is proposing a similar social event for local residents with a weekly coffee with him which will begin sometime after the Thanksgiving holiday.  City offices will be closed December 24th and 27th for the Christmas holiday and the council decided to hold only one meeting that month, on the 13th, given the proximity to the New Year.

Councilmembers approved a proclamation issued by the Zonta Club of Prowers County declaring the 16 Days between International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women on November 25th and International Human Rights Day on December 10th as the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.  The proclamation was read by Zontian, Tammy Benavides who outlined plans for local displays during that time period, with the council’s approval.  Cracks in city sidewalks will be filled with red sand to heighten awareness for human trafficking in the country.  The Red Sands Project is international in scope and the sand will be placed by the municipal building, Lamar Community Building and courthouse the week of November 18-25th.

Mary Conley was re-appointed to a three-year term on the VALE, Victims & Witnesses Assistance Law Enforcement board.  A city Purchasing Policy was amended by Resolution No. 21-11-02 which includes a wrecked and damaged vehicle estimate to offer opportunities to historically underutilized businesses in local government procurement.  City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, was selected by the State Department of Local Affairs to gather information needed to formulate a pilot policy program.

The council approved using $40,000 of Sanitation Capital funds to help purchase a replacement refuse truck for the one damaged earlier this year by an electrical fire.

The council approved, with the city attorney’s revisions, a six-month lease for hangar space at the Southeast Colorado Regional Airport for a business venture, Allen Aviation, LLC/Cody Allen, as a digital-oriented, repair station.  Mayor Crespin said this could help kick-start another business opportunity in the community.  Allen Aviation will be charged rent of $5 a month and negotiations for a full rental fee will take place once the initial agreement expires.  In other airport developments, the council approved the mayor’s and city attorney’s signature on the American Rescue Plan Act Grant for $32,000 to cover the cost related to airport operations of general janitorial services, cleaning and sanitization.  No financial match or reimbursement is required.

Crespin outlined plans for a fast-food business development as the council approved the purchase of two, twenty-foot parcels of land adjacent to the city’s earlier purchase of the property at 1002 North Main Street for $250,000 to hold for the developer.  The mayor explained the additional property would be used to accommodate two drive-thru lanes for the business and the developer will reimburse the city for the land purchase once the agreement has been finalized.

Regarding business ventures, Crespin cautioned the general public about speculating on property purchases for future pot shop sites, now that commercial sales have been approved.  “We have a long way to go before any stores open in Lamar,” he cautioned, adding the council will take about 12 months to determine a number of regulatory ordinances for how many stores can open, who will be approved and where they will be allowed to open.  “I really don’t want to see any on Main Street,” he stated, but added that anyone who starts buying land now to cash in on a future venture may be spending money that won’t make the return they hoped for.

By Russ Baldwin






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