Lamar City Council Meeting of June 24, 2024

Mayor Kirk Crespin opened the meeting with remarks about the recent Colorado Municipal League conference that council members and certain city staff attended.  He felt that it was a great opportunity to meet with staff from other cities and exchange ideas and to be able to bring back knowledge and information.  This was reiterated by all council members and staff who attended.

City Treasurer Kristin Schwartz reminded Council that Mayor Crespin and City Administrator Rob Evans will be in Montrose next week at a hearing for the DOLA grant for the design phase of the new wastewater treatment plant.   She also announced that the city received a trust donation from a local family that provides $5,500 to be used for free adoptions and adoption kits at the animal shelter as well as an additional $12,000 earmarked for the dog park and that it was much appreciated and will be very helpful.

Administrator Evans displayed a sign that was recently removed from one of the city’s flower planters and wanted to remind citizens that they are allowed to place signs in their own yards or the yards of others with permission but that it is NOT allowed on city or state property.  The sign had an address on it and Mayor Crespin jokingly remarked that it is easy to have code enforcement officers follow up on this since the address was displayed.  Evans also mentioned that the Public Works Department has been having to do a lot of extra cleanups of properties due to weeds and un-mowed yards and asked people to please keep their properties cleaned up.  The fireworks for July 4 have been delivered and are being stored and an announcement will be made soon about the holiday schedule.

In council member reports, Joe Gonzeles reported that the recent Wiley Open at the golf course was sold out and was a big success.  The 4th of July tournament (held on July 6) is ¾ full but there are still a few spots open. Lunch is provided and carts are available for rent.  Manual Tamez wanted to remind citizens to be mindful of the hourly water restrictions that are in place.  He stated that the wells are in good shape and levels are up from last year but reminded that with the current heat that could change.  Brent Bates spoke of Prowers Economic Prosperity’s recent work on granting incentives, including the new AM Breakfast House opening.  He said the Corporate Cup will be July 24-27 and that no more teams are being accepted but that they are looking for business sponsors for the teams.  He was told that DOLA will be hiring new employees soon which should speed up the time necessary for grants to be approved.

A scheduled public hearing was held for approval on the final plat for The Royal on the 7th Subdivision.  The project involves a 5-acre plat being developed by John Sutphin III into 12 lots measuring approximately 105 feet by 135 feet.  The approval was granted with a unanimous vote.

A discussion regarding a previous request for in-kind assistance from the Lamar School District for the stadium project was held.  The original request was that the City would pave the new stadium’s parking lot and drive lanes to save costs to the school district and in turn, they district would use those cost savings to help the city make improvements on 14th Street, which will see a large increase in traffic due to the stadium’s location.  The IGA pulled from the June 10 agenda shows that the City altered the school district’s potential contribution to $50,000 from the city’s market rate calculation for labor and equipment that totaled $103,000 (not including materials needed).  The school board is now requesting that the City complete the paving project as a full contribution to the Thunder Stadium project. RE-2 Superintendent Dr. Chad Krug was scheduled to address Council tonight but was unable to attend.  Mayor Crespin said that since the project happened so fast, the city’s current budget has no provision to provide this work for free and that the city still has unfinished projects such as Escondido park’s parking lot, improvements to the lot for the Community Building and others that have been planned and budgeted for.  Several council members voiced this same opinion, and also worried that by providing the work and materials for free that a bad precedent could be set.  It was also mentioned that the city didn’t want to be perceived as taking business away from local companies who could provide the work.  Councilman Tamez suggested that no final decision be made until further discussions with the school board could be held, but Evans said that the decision had to be made tonight as the school would have to go back to their original bid price for the project if Council refused to do the work for free.  Crespin proposed that Council allow Evans to discuss with the school district the possibility of reducing fees for permits as an alternative.  Council voted unanimously to allow this.

In other action, the application for a beer garden at the Sand and Sage Roundup was approved, and a request from Pride Fest to use the Enchanted Forest and have the area blocked off for their event was approved.  Council voted to approve a letter of support from the city to accompany the county’s grant application for asbestos abatement for 207 E. Elm/210 S. 3rd St (the old American Legion property) so that the county’s redevelopment project could move forward.  The plan is for the county to build a new building on the property to house a new Commissioners’ board room for pubic meetings as well as space for administrative offices.  An intergovernmental agreement with Lamar Community College was approved, allowing LCC to use city facilities on a year-to-year basis with a new yearly cost to LCC of $19,500.

Colleen Messersmith was appointed to a new five-year term on the Lamar Housing Authority Board.  Katrina Lopez was appointed to a four-year term on the Public Safety Board.  Jake Harris was appointed to a four-year term on the Public Safety Board as well as a three-year term on the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board.  Council member Shalah Mata agreed to assume three liaison positions previously held by former council member Mike Bellomy.

The meeting then adjourned to go into Executive Session.  The next City Council meeting will be Monday, July 8 at 7:00 pm.

By: Barbara Crimond

Filed Under: City of LamarFeatured


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