Council Work Session Explores Citizen’s Concerns

Municipal Offices in Lamar


The Lamar City Council discussed a partial list of citizen’s concerns during its July 10th work session.  Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller reviewed some areas that had been brought to his and council’s attention during several Common Ground meetings with the public as well as regular calls from citizens to his department and council members.  The council and police department thought a review of potential costs associated with addressing some issues required clarification and prioritized for resident’s safety.

Topics ranged from an ordinance regarding use of bicycles on Main Street sidewalks, to the placement of additional speed/radar signs which provided a motorist with an idea of how fast they were being monitored to speeders on high access roads, mostly on the west side of the city or personal use of fireworks in a residential neighborhood during the July 4th holiday.

Chief Miller said the city could use a periodic social media release covering some issues of dos and don’ts within the city limits and would look into a radar system that engages a patrol cars roof lights if an approaching motorist exceeded a safe speed limit.  “If we can establish a pattern of speeding by an individual in a given area, we can begin to address enforcing the laws at that point,” he explained adding that the department has been understaffed for the past several years due, in part, to the pandemic.

“In 2021 the department had a total of 26,720 calls which dropped to 14,970 in 2021 and to date, we’ve had just over 8,000 for this year,” Chief Miller said the department was reduced by eight officers just two years ago and at this point, there are still two vacancies waiting to be filled.  The council decided that a future, longer work session would be needed to address all the issues brought forward by residents and any potential costs associated with providing a solution.

The second portion of the work session involved a review of an incentive application to be used when presenting a project to the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority for either business or residential concerns.  The draft would be worded so as to be used by the city, Prowers County, Prowers Economic Prosperity, Lamar Redevelopment Authority, so each entity is on common ground.  Once the draft is finalized and approved by all agencies, it will be converted to an online application and linked to various websites.

The public comment section of the evening revolved around some citizens concerned about the harmful impact the July 23rd Southeast Colorado Pride Event would have on any youngsters who attended the festival, scheduled for that day at the Enchanted Forest on East Beech Street.  Diane Tixier provided the council with a pro and con petition she had gathered in opposition to the event.  Tixier said she had over 600 signatures from people opposed to allowing the event to take place and as few as 26 in favor.  Barbara Hernandez asked if the council and police department would follow a ‘code of conduct’ for the Sunday event and prevent any obscene or pornographic content or materials from being distributed.

Council members and the Mayor, Kirk Crespin, took their issues under advisement, but the council, as a basic whole, said the festival was well within its rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States to be held and it would go on as scheduled although there would be a law enforcement presence at the event to maintain civility.

City Administrator, Rob Evans, listed some future events for the area including the annual Windmill Classic, set for this weekend, July 14-16th.  Ivor Hill has invited the public and the council to an open house of his newly renovated residence project at 710 West Olive Street on Wednesday, July 19th from 10am to 3pm.  Friday with the Force will be held in Willow Creek Park near the pool on Friday, July 21st from 5pm to 9pm.  Coffees with Rob will be held on July 19th at the Lamar Truck Plaza and on the 26th at Hickory House.  Evans noted that long-time Lamar resident, Anthony LaTour has been hired at the city’s Parks and Recreation Director.  LaTour has been associated with the Lamar Re-2 School District for numerous years.

Regarding housing development, the council adopted Ordinance 1262 which corrected a street address for the duplex development by Ivor Hill on West Olive Street.  Olive Avenue will be changed on the platting map to Olive Street.  The council also approved a request from a property owner on CR HH.5 for extra-territorial water and sewer connections to their land.

Nature Made Photography, owned by Jill Smith, was awarded the contract to develop stock photo footage of the Lamar area for future use on social media sites for various promotional projects.  The city’s Community Development and Marketing and Communications decided it would be in the city’s best interests to assist the future M & C manager to have the stock photos already available given the time of the year and the abundant greenery from the rare rains we have recently received.  Smith submitted the lower bid of the two received by the city at $1,870.

The council went into executive session for discussion of personnel matters to include discussion and/or refinements to the City Administrator’s contract under CRS section 24-6-402(4)(f).
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of LamarEntertainmentFeaturedRecreation


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