Lamar Council Prepares for Higher Internet Security for City Operations

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Given the number of computer hacking incidents across the nation, the city’s insurer, CIRSA, has recommended that the city conduct a penetration audit to help with loss prevention and possibly lower CIRSA premiums. Thomas Sanchez, the city’s IT Director, explained that several security upgrades were considered as recommended by CIRSA. An audit of the city’s overall internet system, priced at $12,600 was tabled pending discussion of additional policies, business continuity and scope of work, as recommended by councilman Kirk Crespin. City Administrator, John Sutherland, stated that, “The city is working closely with CIRSA on this project, and we’re literally starting from scratch.” Sanchez said some protocols for security have always been in place, but this is the first consideration for a professional audit.

Some recommendations for the city’s internet system were approved by the council. Social media and conversations and interactions are considered public data similar, now, to physical documents and email. The city has not been asked for its social media archive at this point, but Sanchez feels that it will occur and the City should be prepared. “We currently have eight forms of social media with four for facebook, two for a twitter account and the library has two blog sites for interaction with its customers,” he explained. The cost will be $855.66. The council also approved adoption of an incidence response plan which outlines what actions to take when a security breach occurs in any of the city departments. CIRSA has also recommended that the city prepare and adopt a privacy policy which outlines how information is treated as it pertains to citizens.

The franchise agreement between Atmos Energy and the City was passed by the Lamar City Council on Monday, July 27, on second reading. The new agreement extends the termination date to November 12, 2035 and the City will receive 5% of the revenues from the monthly sale of gas within the City.

The council conducted a public hearing to receive comments from the public regarding the proposed 2015 supplemental budget which allows monies to be transferred between funds or spending agencies. This impacted the Capital Improvement Fund and Revenues increased from $323,891 to $1,604,628 with Expenditures increasing from $323,891 to $1,741,333. General Fund Revenues increased from $7,657,293 to $7,720,587 and Expenditures from $7,657,293 to $7,772,524. The Unemployment Fund had Expenditures increased from $0 to $35,000.

A planning grant of $10,000 has been offered to the city from the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority and the Water Quality Control Division to assist and support a portion of the costs with the development of the Project Needs Assessment. The council approved the planning grant.

The council also voted approval of DOLA, Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Program Tier II Grant for $1,612,800 which will fund half of the construction of the water distribution system under Lamar’s Main Street roads. This is an integral part of the city’s Main Street Re-surfacing Program which will be conducted by CDOT starting in the spring of 2016. The grant application must be submitted by August 1, 2015.

Administrator Sutherland updated the council on several future events including a joint city/county budget meeting where both bodies will review areas of common financing interest. At this point, no specific date has been set. The annual Chamber Ice Cream Social will be held at 6:00pm at Willow Creek Park on Thursday, July 30; National Night Out is set for 6pm, again at the Park and will feature free swimming at 7pm and a free movie, Big Hero 6, at dusk; the monthly informal city council breakfast will be held from 7am to 8am on Wednesday, August 5 at Daylight Donut; the Sand and Sage Parade will be held at 10am on Saturday, August 8, using the theme, “Red, White and Moo”. Mayor Roger Stagner let it be known he’ll take part in a fair event at approximately 8pm on Thursday, August 6. Stagner said he will be in the dunk tank at that time, raising funds to help send local cheerleaders to a camp in London, England this summer, and if any citizen wishes to toss a few balls his way, that’s fine with him!

The council voted to re-appoint Joe Giadone to the VALE (Victims and Witnesses Assistance Law Enforcement Board) for a three year term ending August, 2018.

Councilwoman, Anne-Marie Crampton, was re-appointed to serve as the city’s representative to the Policy Committee of the Colorado Municipal League. The Committee is responsible for reviewing legislative and policy proposals from members and recommending specific positions to the CML Executive Board. Three meetings are scheduled between October 2015 and February 2016 during the state’s legislative session. 

A public hearing was set Monday, August 10 for transfer of ownership/Retail Liquor Store License for A&B Liquor, LLC. The store has been purchased by Chris Currell. Currell has been issued a temporary permit to cover the duration of the setting and holding of the public hearing.

Lamar Fire Chief, Jeremy Burkhart, reported that Cindy Bennett from the Sand and Sage Fair Board requested a discount on the city’s ambulance standby fees during the Rodeo. The usual fee is $190 for the first three hours and $35 for each following hour. Historically, the council has considered all standbys at the fair to be one single event, eliminating all but one initial reduced $90 fee plus costs to cover the part-time staff. The council approved the annual request.

By Russ Baldwin



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