Lamar Redevelopment Board Postpones Hospital District Agreement

Mayor Roger Stagner read the oath of office to Reserve Police Officer Darrell Lingle

The Lamar City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Board on Monday, June 27, tabled approving a resolution for an intergovernmental agreement to pay the Prowers County Hospital District a portion of the TIF revenue generated by the hospital district levy. Although the amount equals about $2,000 annually, the authority board was reluctant to set a precedent that would have financial ramifications in a similar agreement with the Prowers County Commissioners. City administrator Ron Stock said removing a subordination clause in the hospital IGA as requested by the hospital board could carry over to the pending county agreement and imperil future chances for bonding referendums for the Development Authority. Although some board members said they didn’t want to drag out negotiations for another year, they didn’t want to jeopardize chances for funding. The county commissioners are meeting Tuesday with an urban development attorney and the board members decided to postpone their vote until they’ve had an opportunity to discuss any responses from the county.

The council passed on first reading an ordinance to allow voters to decide if public city notices should be discontinued in local newspapers, The Lamar Ledger, and placed on the city’s website instead. Identical information would also be publicly posted in the office of the city clerk for review. The move is a money and time-saving measure as the city spends between $3,500 to $5,000 a year to publicize notices of paid bills and other related information. City Treasurer Linda Rohlman said formatting the information for publication in the newspaper was time-consuming for her office. The council decided to post the information on the new city website, allowing citizens a chance to get used to the new format. The language for the question in the November ballot must be sent to the county clerk and recorder in July.

An annual contract between the city and state was approved for funding the Lamar Welcome Center. The state pays the city for the center’s services and personnel. This year, there was a $4,000 increase to $52,696 which will allocate $2,000 for line item adjustments and $2,000 for increased volunteer enhancement. The council also approved the lone bid for janitorial services at the welcome center at $650 per month.

A contractor was selected by the council for rehabilitation work on the city’s 6 million gallon water tank south of town. The interior and exterior of the tank will be cleaned and painted, and the piping system will be replaced. The low bidder was Manzanares Construction of Pueblo for $849,071. Their bid was 22% under the engineer’s estimate of $1,100,000. Work on the exterior of the tank will begin this summer and Doug Montgomery, city water engineer, said interior work will start in November and should be completed by March or April. While the tank is being drained and repaired, the city will continue to use the smaller, 2 million gallon tank. On another water issue, the council reviewed a proposed memorandum of understanding from the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District regarding the city’s share of costs for a current environmental impact study. Lamar is the only city involved that has not agreed to the memorandum. Lamar’s share equals 13.23% of the cost of the project, amounting to $28,817.94 for 2011.

Deputy city administrator, Bill Pfeilsticker explained the benefits on the trade-in of a 1983 city bucket truck for the purchase of a 2002 model from Lamar Light and Power. The city’s cost is $7,500 and the funds will come from the city’s Fairmont Investment Fund, as this is not a budgeted item. Pfeisticker said the truck is specifically designed and outfitted to be used to take down trees and tree limbs and over 200 trees in Fairmount Cemetery require work this year. Another request involving city vehicles was approved. Lamar Fire Chief, Marshall Cook received permission from the council to donate the city’s retired 1964 fire truck to the Big Timbers Transportation Museum to be on display at the museum. The city purchased the truck new and it has since been retired from service. Cook explained there was a lot of local history tied to the fire truck and it seemed more fitting to have it on display at the new museum than to sell it off.

On two sports notes, the council approved waiving the curfew ordinance this July 22 and 23 for teams visiting Lamar for the Lamarlin’s annual Valley Regional Swim meet. Families of swimmers camp overnight in Willow Creek Park. The council also approved waiving the EMT stand-by fee for the Babe Ruth Softball World Series this August. The EMT’s usually charge $35 per hour for their services and it was determined that for the entire series, from August 6 to the 13th only 6 or 8 EMT’s would be needed to provide two person medical teams at the game site.

The council set two dates in September to work on the city’s 2012 budget. September 12 will focus on the proposed five-year capital plan, staffing levels for 2012 and review of the 2012 pay and classification plan. The September 19 meeting will review the budget draft.

In other action, Mayor Roger Stagner read the oath of office to Reserve Police Officer Darrell Lingle who was sworn in at the beginning of the council meeting. The council and public were reminded that the informal council breakfast meeting would be held from 7am to 8am on July 6 at Becky’s Restaurant in the Village Shopping Center. The public is invited to attend the monthly meetings.

Last, but not least, the council and audience gave a standing round of applause to retiring city administrator Ron Stock who will end his service to the city on July 8. Stock announced his plans to resign to the council in March. While presenting a commemorative plaque to Stock, Mayor Roger Stagner said, “Ron Stock has done a good job for the citizens of Lamar. He always offered the best advice to the council and played an important role in helping develop our community.” Stagner said the search for a replacement administrator is beginning to narrow from the final three candidates, but was not more specific as to when an announcement would be made public.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: communityEconomyFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementThe Journal AlertUtilities


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