Lamar Redevelopment Authority Board Okays Funding for Downtown Coffee Shop

Brew Unto Others, Coffee with a Cause, is the name of a proposed, church supported coffee shop, which hopes to open their operation this spring in downtown Lamar. Shawna Hodge, Executive Director of Lamar Partnership Incorporated and Renee Beebe, who will manage the property, briefed the Lamar Redevelopment Authority Board on the business operation and the need for $26,000 in funding from the Authority to install a sprinkler system at 119 South Main, the site of the former Curves center.

John and Leslie Miller of Colorado Springs own the property and the Lamar Church of God wants to rent the building and operate a for-profit coffee shop and community events/meeting center. The church plans to raise enough funds to purchase the building. The facility will be open six days a week, and according to Beebe, will employ from three to five persons, depending on whether the coffee shop will be functioning or a specific event or gathering at the address. The requested $26,000 would be used for the code-required sprinkler system. Once that funding has been granted, the work to convert the building into the coffee shop can proceed. Roger Stagner, Lamar Mayor, asked if there were plans to alter the coffee shop into a full time church at that address. Stagner said he was concerned because if there is a change of use of that nature, the taxes generated by the coffee shop would be lost to the city. After the board voted approval, Shawna Hodge said she would be in touch with City Administrator John Sutherland to proceed with the next steps for securing the funding.

Administrator Sutherland reminded the council of several future events including the annual meeting of Lamar Partnership Incorporated at noon this Wednesday, February 27 at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce offices. The annual meeting for PCDI, Prowers County Development Incorporated will be held that evening at 6pm at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn. An election of new officers will be held during the business meeting. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade will be held at the large lecture hall in the Bowman Building at Lamar Community College on Monday, March 11, from 9am to noon to continue work on the Colorado Blueprint and a city council retreat session will be held Wednesday, March 13, at 10:30am, also at the college.

Doug Harbour of Voices of Southeast Colorado gave a briefing to the council on plans for a second annual 9/11 tribute to First Responders, Dispatchers and Veterans, scheduled for September 14 at the Prowers County Fairgrounds. Voices of Southeast Colorado is partnering with Voces Unidas on the project and the Prowers County Commissioners have waived fairground fees for the event. Harbour asked the council for permission to use their name on the introductory letter he is sending to regional organizations that may wish to participate in the events. Harbour said the city will not have to spend a cent for their sponsorship on the letter. The parade is planned to begin just north of the Main Street railroad tracks in Lamar and proceed into the fairgrounds along Savage Avenue. The Al Kaly Shriner organization has been contacted and they are planning to send between 100 to 150 members to take part in the festivities and Harbour said he’s contacted the Colorado Springs Police Honor Guard who may be able to attend. So far, just the outline of activities and potential groups have been considered, but Harbour said there is ample time to plan for more local activities and groups and he will contact organizations from Julesburg to Boise City, Oklahoma, Garden City, Kansas and west to the mountains to invite them to share and take part in the ceremonies.

The Lamar Municipal Swimming Pool and waterslide will be resurfaced this year. The council approved a bid to Pacific Western Coatings for $54,820 for the project which was a budgeted item for 2013. The city has used the services of the company in the past, according to Parks and Recreation Director, Rick Akers.

Building Material Supply in Lamar was awarded the bid to supply the city with fertilizer for parks, cemeteries and ball fields. BMS had the low bid of the four submitted at $11,018.50, based on the city purchasing policy which allows 5% in preference points for local vendors.

Wiley Work, Lamar City Engineer, outlined a recent request from Marion Kinder, Joe Gonzales and Russell Anderson to subdivide properties they own between 900 and 1004 South 14.  The council set March 11 at 7pm for a public hearing for the approval of the final plat of the Comer Subdivision.

The council approved the re-appointments of Judy Arnold, Darrell Finney and Bryon Marples for three year terms each on the Lamar Tree Board. The terms will expire in 2016.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEmploymentEntertainmentEventsFeaturedFestivalLamarProwers CountyRecreationSchoolTourismTransportation


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