Lamar Moving Forward with Construction Projects

View of Construction, Facing East


The Lamar City Council agreed to contribute $25,000 to the Cobblestone Hotel project during its January 24th meeting, pending some alterations to the contract.  The owners are paying to have the city’s sewer line re-routed from under the hotel which will be built due south of the Cow Palace Inn on North Main Street.  BriMark Builders and the city have been in negotiations for the construction of the 54-room property for Cobblestone since 2019 and are now moving forward with the project.  The city’s incentive package includes assistance with developing the site for construction, water, sewer and electric lines and building permit for $249,260, minus the $25,000.  The total project is estimated at $5M.  Mayor Kirk Crespin explained the incentive package is based on performance guidelines which the owners of the hotel will have to meet to qualify for the incentives over a period of time.

Another future construction project will be underway on North Main Street as the city council approved a bid for labor and materials to have Southeastern Colorado Builders break down the blue “WHO” building, remove it from its current site, north of Anderson Street and re-erect it at a new site to be used for municipal storage.  The cost of the project is $30,800.  Craig Brooks, City Building Inspector, said Southeastern Colorado Builders will have to meet a specific timeline for taking the building down and moving it to its future location near the town’s two water tanks, but there is a flexible timeline for its reconstruction and the company will receive installment payments when it meets a benchmark in the project.

Brooks presented the council with an update on renovation plans for the Main Café, at 114 South Main Street.  The city is using a DoLA grant for the cost of an initial investment towards creating a construction plan for additional funding.  Four apartments will be built on the second floor and an unused building to the rear of the former restaurant may be taken down to make way for a parking lot.  The Home and Season store owners own a portion of the second floor over the Main and will donate their portion to the city in return for their building’s demolition.  Several council members said they would like to take a walk-thru to get an idea of the work that has to be done.

Brooks also recapped the CDOT Grant of a $200,000 award to the city to install a pedestrian bridge over the Fort Bent Canal.  Discussion with that state agency began in 2019 under the state’s TAP, Transportation Alternative Program.  The project should begin this spring along with the final construction of a concrete roadway for South Main Street.  The bridge will be on the east side of the highway, adjacent to the Blue Spruce Motel and the north end of the Lamar Community College parking lot.

The council tabled action on a quit claim deed from Dean Smith that was presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission last year.  The deed will give the city 20 feet of the west end of Smith’s property in the 1300 block of South 11th Street to the city, allowing the existing alley to run through to Canal Street.  In return, Smith will be given 20 feet of unused alley owned by the city that borders the fence line that runs to the north.  Councilman Mike Bellomy suggested a survey be taken of the land involved, so a legal description of the properties can be entered into the agreement.

A three-year agreement with Kactus Inc., was approved for office and garage space in the Village Center on West Lee Street for the Lamar Police Department.  The contract is $750 per month.  The agreement began in 2009 and has been renewed since that time.  The council approved the application for a grant for the Lamar Animal Shelter from the Colorado Pet Over-Population Fund.  The total amount is $14,150 which covers veterinary care, spaying and neutering and microchips.

Margaret Saldana, City Human Resources Director, was named the city’s representative to the Prowers County Health Pool.  This is an annual procedure.  Clifford Boxley was re-appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a five-year term, expiring in 2027.

An agreement for construction of a self-service fuel area at the Southeast Regional Colorado airport will be approved following a date change on a price quote in the contract.  The price is estimated at around $63,000, but Public Works Director, Pat Mason, told the council there should be some flexibility in electrical installation costs, using local contractors.

There was considerable discussion on the type of pick-up truck to be purchased for City Administrator, Rob Evans, which was spelled out in his hiring contract.  At a future date, once the vehicle’s lease has expired, city departments will be able to use the pick-up for their own purposes.  The city qualifies for a lower price as the pick-up is available under a state, pre-bid policy provided to municipalities, as explained by City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea.  Several questions were brought up as to what options the vehicle should have, should it be diesel or gas powered and what would be appropriate usage of the pick-up by Administrator Evans.  Attending via Zoom, Evans said he was open to suggestions.  On a split vote, the council decided to table the lease bid pending additional discussion.

Evans detailed several future events for the city including the 100th observance of the Lamar Chamber of Commerce and its banquet, Friday, January 28th at the Lamar Eagles Lodge, the city council will hold an informal breakfast gathering at Daylight Donuts at 7am on Wednesday, February 2nd, the annual High Plains Snow Goose Festival will run from February 3-6, the Friends of the Lamar Library will host their monthly book sale from 9am to 1pm on February 4th and 5th , city offices will be closed for President’s Day on Monday, February 21st and Coffee with Rob will be held at 7am at the Lamar Truck Plaza on February 9th, the Pit Stop on the 16th and Rivals on the 23rd.

The council went into executive session for personnel matters under C.R.S. 24-6-402(4)(f) with Southeast Colorado Regional Airport and Administrative employees.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEconomyFeaturedLamar Chamber of CommerceLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyTransportationUtilities


About the Author: