Lamar Council Okays LCC Foundation Request for Future Housing

Original LCC Dorm


The student population at Lamar Community College continues to increase, due in part, to the recent development of a future soccer team.  The college and the LCC Foundation have joined economic forces in the past for additional housing, such as the Prowers House dormitory which was built in 2016, according to councilwoman, Anne-Marie Crampton.  Now, there’s a need for more space and the Main Street View Motel was recently purchased for conversion to hold 75 more students.  LCC President, Dr. Linda Lujan asked the Lamar City Council for assistance in that transformation during its February 15th meeting.

Dr. Lujan said she appreciated the efforts of the Foundation to help attain a goal that was set in 2017 to establish a soccer program at the college.  She noted the assistance the city offered on the recent development of Escondido Park in a first-class soccer field for use later this year.  Dr. Lujan said the city could help in a variety of ways, from providing trash roll-offs to helping repave the parking lot with college purchased asphalt.  In light of the many ways a new soccer program at the college would help benefit the economic climate of Lamar as a host city to future games, Crampton explained that the new dorm would not be earmarked primarily for soccer-oriented students, but open to all LCC students who attend the college.

Mayor Kirk Crespin explained that due to some financial constraints, the city cannot expend tax dollars for projects of this nature, but would be more amenable to ‘in-kind” assistance in the areas of construction and equipment.  City Administrator, Rob Evans, said he had spoken with some department heads on what types of assistance could be offered and he recommended that the projects be broken into separate phrases.  Councilman Mike Bellomy offered the idea that a first phase be approved for a starting point and hold a later council work session to review the remaining projects and the manner in which the city could offer assistance.  The council voted to approve up to $12,000 for in-kind work for the first phase of renovations.

In other action, the council approved the renewal of membership to the Lamar Library Advisory Board for long-time member, Judy Arnold whose five-year term was coming to an end and approved the bid from J & S Graphics for tee shirt production for city events and recreation programs for the new year.

The blue building on North Main Street has been emptied over the past few weeks in preparation for a tear down and removal to a city-owned site.  The property is being sold to a developer and the building should be taken down completely in the next several weeks.

Now that the city uses an official seal along with its logo, all stationaries will have to be updated to accommodate the recent change.  City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, said bids for the stationary will be issued shortly, but the remaining supplies will be used before the new items are put into use.  Martha Alvarez, who guides the city in social media and communications is working on new, color-coordinated signage ideas for way-finding materials to help direct visitors and residents to city locations.

Councilman Oscar Riley updated the members on some recent developments including a request from Farm Credit to be annexed into the city boundaries.  The new building is on the east side of Highway 50, almost opposite Walmart and south of Big R.  The Planning and Zoning Commission approved a zoning adjustment to the size of some of the proposed housing lots which will be constructed between 8th and 9th Streets along Savage Avenue.  The council also noted that Sparrowhouse Ministries received a grant to repurpose a concrete basketball court on its property into a common community garden.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Crespin took time to pay tribute to Beverly Augustine, a long-time resident of Lamar and the owner/operator of The Lassie which she began in 1947.  Beverly Augustine passed away on February 9th.  “She was very dear to all of us and a treasure to this community and did so much to promote our retail businesses in downtown Lamar.”  He added, “She was a great woman and Lamar’s own, ‘Betty White’ and her absence will be dearly missed in our community.”

By Russ Baldwin




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