Council Selects Tamez as Mayor Pro-Tem



Councilman Manuel Tamez was elected as Mayor Pro-Tem, replacing Anne-Marie Crampton on the council following her resignation earlier this spring.  Crampton also served as council liaison to PEP, the council insurance committee and Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee and Mayor Kirk Crespin said the council will review the current liaison positions to determine future replacements.  Crespin noted Lamar has been chosen to host a CML conference this September.

Coronicas Liquor Store, following a public hearing, was granted authority by the council for permanent modification of premise to add a 20 by 34 foot storage area addition to the east of his office at 100 North Main Street in Lamar.  A public hearing was scheduled for June 12th for the Sand & Sage Round-Up special event application to host its annual beer garden August 10th through the 12th during the county fair and rodeo.  The council approved the lease agreement with Aqua-holics boat rentals for its seasonal operation at North Gateway Park.

Councilman Mike Bellomy noted the improvements and safety features that were recently done to the abandoned Creaghe Packing business on South 13th Street.  Doors and windows have been bordered over and all the shrub and tree debris has been removed.

The council authorized Linda Williams, City Clerk, to submit a letter of intent to participate in a Coordinated Election for the November 7, 2023 general election.  The council will have five vacancies to include Mayor, a vacancy in Ward One, two in Ward Two and one in Ward Three.  The City of Lamar may also have a citizen initiative ballot question as well as TABOR tax issue question(s) on the ballot.

The city will apply for a Title III-B grant for the Senior Center Operations from the Lower Arkansas Valley Area Agency on Aging.  The funds will go towards the salary for the full-time custodian hired on January 2nd, as well as for a new full-time manager for the Center.  The grant is $62,764 with a local cash match of $67,440.  The city will apply the match through employment benefits.

City Treasurer, Kristin Schwartz, noted that the city has received $12,500 from the Pet Over-Population Organization as well as $80,000 from the state for next year’s funding for the Lamar Welcome Center’s operations and salaries.  Additional information will be provided to CDOT for the grant request to fund sidewalk construction on the west side of South Main Street.   Work on the east side continues and the road improvement project is expected to be completed in October.  Lamar was not considered for a $250,000 grant to develop a pickleball court near Parkview School.  There was $6.3 million in requests to GoCO this funding cycle.

Council members voted to redirect budget funding from a $4,500 projector for the Cultural Events Center to the purchase of a 40-foot storage container for $7,000.  Lamar Librarian, Sue Lathrop, explained that the library’s garage is now used for the monthly book sale which generates several thousand dollars for library programs.  The new container will store extra shelving, parade items, set pieces and seasonal decorations.  Friends of the Library donated $1,000 and the Huddleston Butler Foundation granted $2,500 with the library needing to find the $3,500 balance.  Lathrop said the project purchase can be delayed a year.

Dr. Rosana Reyes, Lamar Community College President, noted that ADA work on the Bowman Building will begin soon as well as needed renovations for some older sections of student housing.  “We also plan to expand the library on campus and strengthen our avenues for student involvement in the local workforce.  We’re pleased to say we’ve filled 19 vacancies on campus.”  Dr. Reyes added that although LCC is the smallest of the 13 rural colleges in Colorado, LCC will partner with other rural colleges to open access to their programs for local students and to offer their educational services to the other 12 schools.

Extra-territorial water and sewer service was approved for Alfonso Holguin at 6625 Rodeo Drive in Lamar.  The residence is outside the city limits and council approval is needed for the hook-up along West Maple Street to Rodeo Drive.  Another agreement was approved for Jose Ramos, at 6619 Rodeo Drive.

The bid for electric work for the city’s Pocket Park was approved for low-bidder Grett Electric.  The council determined there is a need for updated lighting and more heating for residents who use the park year-round for various gatherings.  The city will use a grant from the CDOT Revitalization program for the project which includes four, 6,000 watt heaters, 11 lumen wall sconces, five pathway lights in the flower box, eight lights under the canopies and plug-ins and wiring for future speakers and security lights.  The estimate is $23,900.

Warren Camp has been hired by the city as a part-time, independent contractor for services such as building consulting, especially in matters when citizens are constructing their own projects.

The City of Lamar and Prowers Economic Prosperity will contract for economic development consulting with James Cisneros.  He will be tasked to recruit additional business opportunities, primarily in partnership with identified tribal governments.  The goal is to develop permanent full-time jobs and increase commercial investments, particularly additional residential housing developments.  The agreement is for a total of $25,000 with PEP contributing $10,000 to the salary. Mayor Crespin explained the one-year contract payment will be based on performance.  “Projects of this nature receive a lot of federal funding and we’ve had tribal representatives in Lamar investigating potential development sites,” he explained.  City Treasurer, Kristin Schwartz added the city has adequate funding in its economic developing budget to cover the compensation.

Lamar City offices will be closed Monday, May 29th for the Memorial Day holiday, according to Administrator, Rob Evans.  He will host a ‘coffee with Rob’ meeting at 7am, Wednesday, May 31st at Brew Unto Others.  The Friends of the Lamar Library will host its monthly book sale on June 2nd and 3rd as well as the Craft Fair and Farm Market from 9am to 1pm on the 3rd at the Cultural Events Center.  The council’s public monthly Wednesday morning, “Common Grounds” meeting will be held at 7am on Wednesday, June 7th also at the Center.  Evans said the Lamar Police Department would be highlighted. The council will host a community social, Saturday, June 10th at Willow Creek Park with swimming at 1pm, a community BBQ from 5pm to 7pm and a free outdoor movie in the park at 8:30pm.

The council went into executive session to receive legal advice under CRS Section 24-6-402(4)(b) and for discussion of a personnel matter under CRS Section 24-6-402(4)(f).

By Russ Baldwin



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