Council Negotiators to Meet with County/McCrea New Lamar Police Chief

Lamar Council Offers Congratulations to Parkview Students

Council Congratulates Gary McCrea on his promotion of Lamar Police Chief

Councilmen PJ Wilson and Kirk Crespin and Deputy City Administrator Bill Pfeilsticker were selected to represent the city in future negotiations with the county to develop a new five year joint agreement for financing the 911 Authority Board/Dispatch Center. The current contract expires at the end of the year. Pfeilsticker explained that the Authority Board, financed by telephone taxes and the city and the county, needs to reapportion the percentage of payment. He says the city residents pay twice, through the city and again through the county taxes, while taxpayers outside the city limits pay only a county tax. He is urging the city team to re-negotiate the contract to what he believes is a more equitable percentage. Based on population, he says, Lamar pays 62% of salaries and the county pays 38%, approximately $8,200 a month for all employees. Some separate finances to the annual operation are paid separately between the city and the county. The Authority Board employees are city workers. Holly, Wiley and Granada do not contribute to the cost of the Authority Board. Pfeilsticker said the city population of 7,804 will be the same number taxed again (7,804) for the county. County residents total 4,747. That group, he said, made 16,398 calls last year, while Lamar calls totaled 13,393…a 38%, 38% and 23% split between city and county. No date has been set at this time for a first meeting.

Gary McCrea will replace Brian Phillips as Lamar’s new chief of police. McCrea has been acting as interim police chief since Phillips’ resignation this past January. City Administrator Ron Stock recommended McCrea as, “Gary has served our Police Department with distinction as Commander, and has met or exceeded all of my expectations while serving as the Acting Chief of Police. He has earned the trust and support of the community and the respect and admiration of his staff.” Stock commented in his recommendation. The council voted unanimously in favor of the appointment which will become official with swearing-in ceremonies on May 9 at the next council meeting.

Because the construction firm hired to conduct the cleaning and rehabilitation of the 6 million gallon water tank was unable to meet their proposed schedule, that project has been pushed back . The city decided increased seasonal water demands would be beyond the limits of the 2 million gallon storage tank if the larger one was out of use. TEC, The Engineering Company, has drawn up plans for the new project which will go to bid. Related documents include the current financial status of the project, available loan funding, and a cost estimate of TEC’s services to the city. $48,500 is available to be carried over to the new project. The city is being billed $55,458.79 by TEC because this is now a new and separate project. If it had been done while the new lift station was under construction, the TEC engineer would have been able to oversee both projects. The city council authorized the mayor to sign the related task orders totaling $104,000. The project is expected to take 10 months or less, and should be completed by March 2012. Administrator Stock said he anticipates additional savings by using Lamar’s Building Inspector, Bobby Ward, to inspect the tank painting project for the bulk of the task, thereby reducing the number and cost of visits by the TEC engineer. Stock said the city has already invested $50,000 in materials which should also translate to some savings in the new bidding procedures.

Mayor Roger Stagner and the council recognized the Parkview Elementary school student council for their citizenship efforts several weeks ago. Student volunteers came out on a Saturday morning to paint over graffiti which marred the skateboard equipment and the tennis backstop south of their school. The mayor thanked them and their teachers and parents for helping show the community that persons of any age can help improve their community when they put their minds to it. Each council member shook hands with the youngsters and personally thanked them for their efforts.

The Lamar Library Board has discussed the use of the Cultural Events Center by political and religious groups. The by-laws currently do now allow the center for such purposes. Lamar librarian, Debbie Reynolds, told the council the board has met once and is reviewing changes in the by-laws and she should have a finalized report at the next council meeting. Pastor Harold Bohl of the Southern Baptist Church addressed the council earlier in the month, inquiring why the prohibitions are in effect, and if they could be changed.

The council will have their informal monthly breakfast at 7am on May 4 at Daylight Donut on South Main Street. The public is invited to attend and discuss city matters in an informal setting. PJ Wilson announced there are two openings on the Planning and Zoning Commission for any interested citizen, if they wish to submit an application. P & Z meets twice a month in the council chambers at 5:30pm. The annual Good Morning Lamar Breakfast, in conjunction with Lamar Days, will be held Friday, May 13 at 6:45am at the Lamar Elks Lodge with some past and present Lamar Honkers entertaining the crowd that morning.

Administrator Stock presented each councilman and member of the media with a thumbdrive containing 29 resumes and applications for the position of city administrator. Stock said the advertised deadline is April 29, and additional applications have been received which will be forwarded for review. One application came from a local resident and several from Colorado. The council will hold a special meeting in executive session on May 2 to determine a list of finalists. Ron Stock announced his resignation for this July or sooner, pending the hiring of his replacement.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: LamarLaw EnforcementPolitics


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