Lamar Council Acts on Property Development


Municipal Offices in Lamar


The Lamar City Council approved Resolution 22-11-01 which waives the liens attached to property located at 601-603 and 601.5 and 603.5 North 7th Street in Lamar.  The action was taken during the council’s November 14th meeting in an effort to keep properties throughout the city free of weeds, junk and debris as outlined in the code enforcements.  Liens are attached when property owners fail to pay for the required clean-up of their lands within city limits.  Often, taxes have not been paid on the land and the Prowers County Treasurer has filed a Treasurer’s Deed against the property.  The more the fees accumulate, the less interested a prospective buyer becomes during tax sales.

There has been some interest on the properties on North 7th Street which now have a total lien of $21,265.90 dating back to 2011.  Two parties, Jenaro Garcia and Juan Gaucin both received a letter from the city informing them the reduced lien is now $4,354.50 after the city waived asbestos abatement costs and a counter offer of $2,500 was received only from Mr. Garcia to date. The properties are located on the north side of West Washington Street.  The property has no standing buildings, but needs to be cleared of accumulated debris and trees before it can be repurposed as an expansion of Mr. Garcia’s property.  The council accepted Garcia’s counter offer of $2,500 and he will be required to pay any back taxes to Prowers County.

The council, following the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission, approved a request from developer, Ivor Hill, to rezone the property at 700 East Parmenter from its current M-H (Mobile Home) to R-2.  This will allow him to move forward to develop the acreage into a gated townhome complex for nine structures offering two townhomes per unit as well as a single-family residence currently on the property.  City Administrator, Rob Evans, said Hill is negotiating with the families who reside in the remaining mobile homes for purchase.

The council approved a third amendment to the purchase/sales agreement with RB Colorado LLC for the planned Arby’s fast-food franchise at 1002 North Main Street in Lamar.  This process has occurred several times from the initial purchase agreement on March 14, 2022.  The latest modification will extend the agreement to January 13, 2023.  Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin, said the acquisition process has been a three-year long development which may continue, “We’ve gone through two environmental phases on the land and we’re now at the point where reports will have to be made to the state before they either sign off on or deny a permit for construction.”  Crespin said the developers have incurred increased costs of materials and equipment to just over $1M in the past year alone on the project.  “We’re seeking local contractors who can take over this job which could save as much as $500K if an outside firm has to come in for the development,” he explained.

Developments continue at the Escondido Park soccer fields as the council approved a 2022 contractor-owner agreement for shelter structures and a score booth, minus the score board for $74,218.75 with CW Construction.  Earlier bids had come over the city’s limit at $240,000 and the second round brought no bidding. Funding for construction was assisted by two donations last year.  Community State Bank contributed $50,000 for a scoreboard and broadcast booth and LCC donated $80,000.

Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, was given the go-ahead to continue to participate in the 2023, 10-33 program for receiving surplus equipment from the military at a fraction of the original cost.  The council also authorized the department to provide security at this year’s Holiday Basketball Tournament at the Lamar Community Building on December 16-17th at $40 per hour per officer.

In other action, Chief Miller outlined amendments to sections of the Lamar Municipal Code to regulate camping on property owned or managed by the city.  The only guidelines pertain to curfews on city parks.  Miller requested that permission to camp must first be approved with written authorization, not to exceed three days at one location nor to use any building or structure owned or maintained by the City of Lamar for camping.  The council approved the ordinance on first reading.

City Administrator, Rob Evans, highlighted several seasonal community events which include the Holiday Wonderland sponsored by Domestic Safety Resource Center, Saturday, November 19th at the Lamar Elks Lodge from 6-9pm; City offices will be closed November 24-25 for Thanksgiving, and Coffee with Rob will be held November 23rd at Dunkin Donuts and at Daylight Donuts on the 30th at 7am.  The council decided December 12th will be its only meeting for that month, given the proximity to the holidays.

Members of the Zona Club of Prowers County presented a proclamation to the council, declaring the 16 days between November 25th and December 10th as International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women and International Human Rights Day on December 10th to highlight Activism against Gender-Based Violence.  During this period, posters and other means will be used to highlight awareness to support the Zonta Says No Campaign.

Each year, the council discusses proposed changes for rates and fees charged by the city.  This year, some changes have been proposed for the police and the water departments.  Some of the prices include euthanasia and deposits on skunk traps as well as minor price refinements on costs of copying documents.  The water department is recommending a fee structure on bulk, non-potable rates for 2023 which includes $695.10 as a minimum usage charge per 5,330 cubic feet and $3.40 per 100 cu ft for usage above the minimum.  A fee for fire hydrant rental has also been put forward for consideration in which the hydrants will be billed the same as a three-inch meter at $131.05 for 5,330 cu ft as a minimum usage price.  A final decision will be made at a future meeting.

The council approved resolution 22-11-02 setting the new annual interest rate on water deposits with the city at 1.69% as recommended by the state Public Utilities Commission, an increase from last year at 0.08%.

The council went into executive session for a review of the City Administrator; to determine positions for future negotiations and for a conference with the City Attorney to receive legal advice on specific legal questions.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEnvironmentFeaturedHousingPublic SafetyRecreationUtilities


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