New Council Moves Forward on Agenda

New City Council Members


With the November General Election concluded, new and re-elected Lamar City Council members took their oath of office to begin their term.  David Zavala, recently elected to serve Ward 2, replacing Mike Duffy, was administered his oath by Judge Lane Porter to begin the November 13, 2023 council session.  Per the City Charter which requires a back-up, the council re-elected Manuel Tamez to continue to serve as mayor-pro-tem on a split vote with a second candidate, Mike Bellomy.

David Zavala

City Treasurer, Kristin Schwartz, informed the council the city has received a $125,000 CDOT grant for sidewalk installation between Savage Avenue and Park Street on the west side of Main.  The city will need to provide a 10% match.  The project should be completed for ADA access sidewalks by the end of 2024.

City Administrator, Rob Evans brought the council up to date on future events including the “Coffee with Rob” Wednesday sessions that have been scheduled for November 22nd and 29th at the Hickory House.  Domestic Safety’s Holiday Wonderland will be held at the Lamar Elks Lodge on Saturday, November 18th at 6pm, City offices will close for Thanksgiving on November 23-24, the Lamar Chamber of Commerce Hot Cocoa Crawl will from either 10am to 3pm or while supplies last, on Saturday, November 25th at the Pocket Park and the Chamber will host the annual Parade of Lights beginning at 6:30pm on Friday, December 1st.  Due to scheduling, the council decided to cancel the last meeting in December which would be on Christmas Day.  Offices will be closed Friday, December 22nd and Monday, December 25th.  The Lamar Library’s food drive to benefit Sparrow House will continue until December 20th.  Donations for Toys for Tots can be made on Friday, November 24th to the CSP/Port of Entry Officers at the Walmart parking lot.

The council approved Proclamation 23-05 declaring the 16 days between International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women on November 25th and International Human Rights Day on December 10th as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.  The annual proclamation is initiated by the Zonta Club of Prowers County which will distribute posters to various businesses in Lamar as well as a banner at the Lamar Railroad Depot seeking community support for their cause.  Lamar High School students will again participate in the Red Sand project at several municipal buildings to bring awareness to events for the 16 days of observance.

Community State Bank was selected the bid for financing for the city’s three new Dodge Durango Pursuit vehicles for the Lamar Police Department.  Three proposals were received and CSB had the lowest interest rate submitted at 5.85% for annual payments of $29,682.43.  Mayor Crespin, as an employee of Community State Bank as the IT Officer, abstained from the vote.

The Lamar Police Department will provide security services for the annual Holiday Basketball Tournament at the Community Building on December 15th thru the 16th, between 7pm and 11pm.  Two officers will be provided at the rate of $45 per hour per officer.  Police Chief Miller informed the council the city received the 2023 VALE grant of $15,000.

The downtown Lamar speaker system will receive an upgrade, as approval of a mini-grant from the DoLA’s Main Street program was given by the council.  The initial speakers were installed to serve the west and east sides of Beech Street in 2019.  The proposed expansion, as outlined by Martha Baird-Alvarez, Main Street Manager, would place four wireless speakers along the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street in hopes of attracting more shopping customers who would spend more time in the Main Street region.  The city has a balance of $43,701 from a $50,000 mini grant received in 2020.  The Lamar Partnership Incorporated board has asked for $6,940 to add to a match of $1,500 from Julie Vice of $1,500.  Vice is the daughter of Beverly Augustine, former owner of The Lassie in Lamar for 74 years.  The board has also prioritized painting light poles, benches and trash receptacles and commissioning new murals for the city as funds allow.  Alvarez said the music will be holiday themed through the Christmas season and a timer will shut down the music during nighttime and overnight hours.

The council discussed a proposed ordinance, for the elimination of the distance restriction of CRS 44-3-313(1)(d)((I) as applied to GOAL High School at 123 South Main Street in the city.  The new owners of the Lamar Theater, Jeff Travis and Monica Sutphin, have applied for a liquor license for their theater at 219 South Main. The Colorado Revised Statute restricts the sale of alcohol beverages within 500 feet of any public or parochial school or the principal campus of any college, university or seminary.  The theater is located within 500 feet of the school.  The statute allows the city to reduce or eliminate the distance restrictions.  The council explained the ordinance is waiving the distance restrictions on the GOAL school, not any business.  The Max Chop House, while a lot closer to the school on Main Street, is grandfathered in through the liquor license ownership change from the former Stockman’s Lounge.  Councilman Tamez asked if and when the Main Café should open and decide to serve alcohol, if it’s closer proximity to the school would require another ordinance.  The council gave a first reading for the ordinance and will have a second reading and additional discussion on November 27th.

Mayor Crespin took a moment to quell facebook rumors that he had sold the Savage emblem from the renovated gym floor from the Lamar Community Building for $500 on the sale.  “This is in no way true,” he explained, adding that the former logo, which measures about 16 by 10 feet, is safely stored on city property and will be maintained until some future use can be made of the signage.

The council moved into executive session to discuss and plan evaluations of the City Administrator, Clerk and Treasurer.  The next council meeting will be Monday, November 27th.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of LamarElectionsFeaturedPolice ReportPublic SafetyRecreationUtilities


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