Council Tables Redevelopment Funding Request, Hears Townhouse Proposal from Developer


The Lamar Redevelopment Board tabled a $5,000 funding request from Lamar High Plains Fellowship to replace 22 windows and a door to the Fellowship building, the former Lamar Daily News, at 310 South 5th Street.  The action came during the board’s October 24th meeting prior to the City Council session. The request was tabled for future consideration as the board recommended that a Fellowship representative should attend the meeting and as there were two contracts presented for the construction work, the board was not sure which of the two, at different costs, is being considered.  The total cost of the project is estimated at $25,000 and all work will be done by local contractors.  The Fellowship replaced the barrel roof last year. The board also approved Resolution no. LRA 22-10-01for the 2023 budget of $255,000.

Uncollected utility and service fees for the City of Lamar will be written off for 2021 at the recommendation of the city’s auditors.  This action will not negate any future attempts to retrieve those revenues.  Water and sewer uncollected accounts were $11,717 for 2020 for 0.36% of total billing and $11,331 for 2021 for 0.37% of collections.  Uncollected accounts for the sanitation fund for 2020 were $5,667 for 0.41% of total collections and was $5,865 for 2021 for 0.43%.  The total write-offs, including electricity for 2020 were $52,715 and $48,709 for 2021.

The council approved an ordinance to levy and collect taxes for fiscal year 2023.  The mill levy, at 13.239 mills remains unchanged for the 35th consecutive year.  The city will collect $484,430 in 2023, a drop of 2% from 2022 when collections were at $493,989.

Now Renovated and Painted Blue

Ivor Hill, a Pueblo-based real estate developer, presented the council with his outline for a gated community of 18 townhouses which would be built adjacent to the East Parmenter and Division streets intersection.  Hill acquired the property several years ago with the intention of building recreation vehicle storage units.  Recognizing the need for housing in this region, he told the council he now intends to develop the property into townhouses, each with approximately 1,750 square feet.  He recently renovated the abandoned house west of the intersection into a two-story house as he intends to move to Lamar in the future to oversee other housing developments he is pursuing.  The complex would be known as Lone Tree Town Homes.

The council agreed to move forward on the request from representatives from the Lamar High School student council for the installation of two water bottle filling stations at the Lamar Community Building.  Taylor Stagner, Riley Chavira, Tatum Milenski, Myranda Duarte and co-sponsor Angela Chairez presented a list of facts supporting the health benefits of staying hydrated, especially during sports games or exercise work-outs.  Stations have been in use at the high school for several years.  The group estimated the cost of each unit at $1,200, minus installation which takes only two hours.  City Administrator, Rob Evans, said he’d work with the group for a more formal presentation to the council.  The students said they’d be willing to hold a fund-raising event to help with expenses.

Beverly Haggard, council liaison to the Ports to Plains Corridor Alliance, recounted her recent trip to Big Spring, Texas for the annual P2P conference.  Haggard said that although the highway projects discussed were along the I-27 route in Texas, Colorado needs to make its voice heard for the plan to take major truck traffic of that highway system and onto I-25 and I-35 connecting Texas and New Mexico to Colorado’s northerly route.  That, she said, will help drive traffic to the eastern side of Colorado and make more use of Highway 287/385.  Haggard said she intends to travel to Washington, DC in November for a meeting with lobbyists who will argue for the Colorado connection.

Lamar City Administrator, Rob Evans, noted some future events for October and November including Moonlight Madness in downtown Lamar for Thursday, October 27th with a High Plains Health Center sponsored parade at 5:30pm.  The city council will host a breakfast at the LCC cafeteria on Wednesday, November 2nd at 7am, the Lamar Library will host a craft fair and farm market on Saturday, November 5th from 9am to 1pm.  Daylight Savings Time ends on Saturday Night, November 5th, Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th, Veterans Day is Friday, November 11th and the Lamar Eagles Lodge will host an appreciation luncheon for veterans from noon to 2:30pm.   LCC will host its annual craft and food fair at the Wellness Center from 9am to 3pm at the Wellness Center.

CDOT Aeronautics funding will provide $389,889 in an aviation grant for the design of the remainder of the Taxiway A reconstruction project at the Southeast Colorado Regional Airport.  Public Works Director, Pat Mason, said the city’s share will be $38,889 in the local cash match.

The city council moved into executive session to receive legal advice from the city attorney under CRS Section 24-6-402(4)(b).

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Consumer IssuesFeatured

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