2012 City Budget, Cow Palace Inn License Approved

The Lamar City Council approved The Cow Palace Inn’s application for a new Hotel & Restaurant Liquor license. The Cow Palace Inn has recently been sold and the former owners had allowed the liquor license to expire. The license was granted to Palace Holdings, LLC. The vote was unanimous with the exception of an abstention from councilman Jim Larrick due to a conflict of interest.

The council also set a public hearing date for November 28 for the Lamar Chamber of Commerce’s application for a special events permit to host the annual Two Shot Goose Hunt at the Cow Palace Inn. The events will run from November 30 to December 1. The request will be withdrawn by the Chamber if the new license is granted by the state to the Cow Palace Inn, otherwise the Chamber’s request will still move forward.

The city council set a date for a public hearing for February 13, 2012 for proceedings regarding a cable/television franchise renewal for Cablevision Systems Corporation. The corporation is the former Bresnan Communications Company and the current agreement with the city will expire in September, 2014. Historically, a five-year franchise has been granted to past providers in Lamar.

The council approved a contract extension for the city’s State Historical Fund grant contract. The grant was issued to the city two years ago to conduct a historical and architectural survey of 70 buildings in the downtown business district. Shawna Hodge, Lamar Main Street Director, said the project is 65% complete and the existing contract will expire in early November of this year. She estimates the process will be completed in early December and the project will be completed by May, 2012.

The final audit report for the city for 2010 has gone through some revisions and is essentially complete. City Treasurer Linda Rohlman said some fine tuning on last-minute changes is needed and that will be coordinated with City Clerk Linda Williams and the chief accountant for Lamar Light and Power. Rohlman told the council the firm, RubinBrown, LLP, found the city’s report ‘unqualified’ with no sign of any significant problems. The cost of the audit was just under $35,000 and was bid out by the city. The firm will return in January for a final review of the changes.

Due to some fortunate contractor low bidding, the city and CDOT decided to combine the first with the second phase of the construction of an asphalt airport apron and concrete, heavy-aircraft, tie-down areas at the Lamar Municipal Airport. Earlier in the year, the Colorado Aeronautical Board awarded an improvement grant to the city for $430,000 with CDOT contributing $387,000 and the city’s share was $43,000. Because of the low bid from Carder Construction and the city’s in-kind contribution turned out to be less than estimated, CDOT authorized another $250,000 in additional funding. The Change Order #1 allows for construction of the second concrete hardstand which was going to be done in the second phase and completed in 2013. The city’s in-kind contribution will amount to $4,124.

The formal adoption of the city’s 2012 budget was passed on second reading by the council, but there was some last-minute fine tuning that took place following a budget work session held last Friday. Treasurer Rohlman told the council the budget will reflect conservative growth because of projections from next year’s sales tax revenue, and some savings will also be noted in salaries, pensions, medicare and the city’s road and bridge fund. A $60,000 adjustment was made from sales tax revenue projections to the Capital Improvement Fund in anticipation of costs to be incurred in the city’s levee certification study, mandated earlier this year by FEMA. The council agreed to a wage review for city employees by mid year, but that will come as a separate motion to the ordinance at a future meeting.

City Administrator Bill Pfeilsticker noted that the next city council informal breakfast will be held at 7am, Wednesday, November 2 at the Hickory House; Daylight Savings Time will end on November 6 when clocks are set back one hour; the annual Farm/City Banquet will be held on Friday, November 18; the city voted to discontinue membership in Action 22. The annual fee was $520. The move follows action taken earlier in the year by the Prowers County Commissioners and PCDI. Mayor Roger Stagner issued an at-large invitation to all Lamar citizens to attend an election day reception to thank our present, and to welcome our newly elected Lamar City Council. The gathering will be at the Holiday Inn Express meeting room from 7:30 to 9pm. The Come-and-Go event is hosted by Mayor Roger and Leslie Stagner. The city council meetings in November will be held on the 14th and 28th.

by Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessChamber/Local BusinesscommunityEconomyFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementNoticePublic SafetyThe Journal Alert


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