The City of Lamar is receiving funding to improve the deficiency rating for the short bridge crossing the Lamar Canal and linking the city’s industrial park to Commercial Street. The State Special Highway Committee recommended the funding for $392,480. City Administrator, John Sutherland, told the council the bridge has a 20 rating which needs to be corrected, specifically for heavy, load-bearing vehicles. The bridge is short and narrow which prohibits large vehicles such as semis from crossing the canal onto Avenida Colonia. The amount is 80% of the cost of the project.
The council approved the re-subdivision of the classification of two lots at Main and Lee Streets. According to City Engineer, Wiley Work, this b rings several different lots into two, A and B which is used by a new convenience store now known as Rivals at the intersection and a future insurance store just to the north of that property. Lots A and B will now have two separate owners with new businesses at both locations.
Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, presented an intergovernmental agreement to the council to share in the purchase cost of a law enforcement driving simulator which will be used to offer additional training to local police officers. The IGA calls for Lamar to be one of several local agencies which will share the simulator on an as-needed basis. Chief Miller said the share system operates under the philosophy of, “You break it, you fix it” scenario when it is loaned out to Lamar or other departments in southeast Colorado. The council also approved the resolution supporting the agreement between the city and the State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund. Lamar Parks and Rec Director, Rick Akers, told the council the $100,000 grant will be supplied by Healthy Places and will pay for the Inspire recreation grant being sought by the city for 2016.
The council adopted a Rate and Fee schedule for 2016 which impacts various services provided by the City of Lamar. The council has held several work sessions to discuss an increase to residential and commercial customers for water and trash services, specifically for water, to offset the costs of numerous upgrades and improvements in the city’s water infrastructure system.
City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, explained a resolution needed to allow the transfer of funds to defray expenses in excess of the amounts budgeted by the city in 2015. This covers three areas; from the General Fund, the Conservation Trust Fund and the Fairmount Investment Fund. The General Fund had a transfer of $370,000 to cover litigation fees incurred in 2015. The Conservation Trust Fund had a transfer of $5,889 for a mower and $10,405 from the Fairmount Investment Fund to cover the cost of a tractor.
The council went into executive session to discuss funding a proposed, county-wide economic assessment study which would be conducted by PUMA, Progressive Urban Management Associates. Prowers County Board Chairman, Ron Cook, explained earlier in the month, the study costs $50,000, of which $25,000 would be funded by PCDI. He did not ask for a specific sum from the council, but several members expressed interest in the project, based on the information it could provide.
By Russ Baldwin
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