Lamar Area Hospice Begins Expansion Plans, City Council Waives Building Fees


Lamar Hospice Executive Director Debbie Pelley

Lamar Chief McCrea with Florence Chief Morris


The Lamar Area Hospice association has long had an expansion program planned, especially after taking over ownership of the former Lamar Hotel on West Olive Street. Hospice executive director, Debbie Pelley, asked the Lamar city council that an $8,143 building permit fee, based on the $1,000,000 renovation project, be waived by the council, which granted the request.   Another renovation project involves a four inch fire water line that needs to be installed from the city main line in South 5th Street, 50 feet to the hospice property line. From that point to the building, the customer is responsible for construction. Total estimate of the project is $3,323.49. In the past, the city has donated labor, but not materials to similar projects.   The council voted to bear the cost of the materials estimated at $1,370. Last July, the former hotel building was gutted of all non-usable materials, and five roll-offs were donated to the group by the city for the clean-up project. Estimated cost was $1,250.  City Administrator Bill Pfeilsticker asked Pelley how many roll offs are expected to be used during renovations, as he had contacted a local construction firm that estimated the number would be considerable.  Pelley replied that she had no idea at this time, and the council decided to deal with that situation as it developed.  The Lamar Area Hospice was created almost 30 years ago and is staffed with 22 employees and 34 volunteers.  Pelley said the spacious building will be a very welcome focal point for all their day-to-day operations. 

Wayne Reinert was appointed to the Lamar Planning and Zoning commission to finish out an unexpired term. He will serve until February 1, 2013. Lamar resident and former city councilmember, Mike Bryant was appointed to serve on the Lamar Utilities Board for a five year term, replacing Bill Wootten in that position. Wootten agreed to remain on the board passed his August 2010 membership until a replacement had been found. Bryant will serve until August 1, 2015. The terms of Dr. Lauren Grasmick and John Munez on the Victims and Witnesses Assistance Law Enforcement Board expired on August 1, 2011. Ms Grasmick was re-appointed to a three year term expiring August 1, 2014. Ms Gerry Jenkins was appointed to fill the other vacancy and she will serve the same time frame as Grasmick.

The city council approved the Facilities Use Agreement for Denim and Lace for the year 2011-2012 at a contract cost of $2,600. This has been reduced from the original agreement of $3,985.80 because the dance group has reduced the amount of time they will use the community building. 

The purchase of a Gator Utility Vehicle was approved by the council in the amount of $7,500. The city’s 2010 Capital Improvement Plan had $12,000 budgeted for the purchase, but was never approved. The city was loaned the vehicle for ten days last month during the softball world series by Colorado Equipment. It’s a multi-use vehicle that eliminates having to drive a pick up truck onto the playing fields. The funds were taken from the city’s Conservation Trust Fund, and were not a budgeted item for 2011. 

Fred Sherwood from Lamar Community College has requested a reduction in standby ambulance fees for the LCC College Rodeo this fall. The current fee schedule for standby service is $190 for the first three hours and $35 per hour thereafter. Sherwood asked that the actual ambulance fees be reduced by $100 to just the compensation received by the ambulance crew and $25 per hour for the service.  Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook presented the request to the council which approved the price reduction. 

The city of Lamar is selling used vehicles, equipment and scrap items that are no longer serviceable by the city crews. The items can be viewed at 103 North 2nd Street at specific times. Sales will be by sealed bids to the City Clerk, to be opened at a time chosen by the City Treasurer. Revenues from the sales will be deposited in appropriate city department funds. Items include two dump trucks, several pick-ups, and eight passenger vehicles as well as two air compressors, plus tires and electronic items. The Lamar Police Department is also conducting a sale of surplus firearms. The council approved the authorization request from Police Chief Gary McCrea. The items are at the Lamar Police Department and may be viewed by appointment. The sale will be advertised to licensed police officers and federal firearms dealers. Revenues will be deposited in the Firearms Fund of the Lamar Police Department. 

Two Lamar Police Officers were sworn in to their new duties by Lamar Chief of Police Gary McCrea. Jordan Sherill was sworn in as a regular officer, while his brother, Jason Sherill was sworn in by the Chief as a Reserve Officer. The oath of office was administered by Mayor Roger Stagner and the mother of both brothers pinned them with their badges.   A presentation was made to the Police Department by Florence Police Chief Joe Morris with CACP, Colorado Association for Chiefs of Police for the department’s accreditation rating with the organization.  Morris said the Lamar department met 160 various criteria to receive the high rating, and of the 239 law enforcement agencies in the state, only 30 have received this ranking and another six are attempting to qualify.  In accepting the award, Lamar Chief McCrea offered thanks to Sergeant Ritter who assisted him with the accreditation process. 

Runway 8/26 at the Lamar Municipal Airport needs repairs. An inspection by CDOT shows severe raveling of the asphalt surface which could damage aircraft. CDOT will provide specifications, bidding materials and labor, as well as project management for the 2011 repair project at no cost to the city. The council voted to authorize City Administrator Bill Pfeilsticker to draft a letter granting permission for the project. CDOT is using the Lamar Airport to test a new seal coating to lock down loose aggregate. CDOT used the application successfully at the Rangely airport taxiway and ramp, and wanted to see how well it would work on runway surfaces. CDOT has stated it will continue to work to improve the runway even if the new application does not perform to expectations. 

The city council approved a resolution, electing not to notify the state’s licensing authority for action for a special event permit. The door was recently opened for such action when the Colorado legislature passed into law, Senate Bill 11-066. This gives the city clerk permission to act as the state liquor licensing authority to accept or reject local special event permit applications to serve alcoholic beverages.  This will result in the city keeping the $25 application fee as well as helping speed the process for some special events permits.  Clerk Linda Williams will still need to inform the state on the outcome of local applications. 

The council passed on first reading, an ordinance to rezone property at 205 North 5th Street from C-2 Commercial to R-2 Residential. There was no opposition to the alteration at a public hearing conducted by the Lamar Planning and Zoning Commission which recommended the zoning change.  In other news, the city is conducting a fall city-wide, clean-up day on Saturday, October 8.  More details will follow. 

The council was informed by City Attorney, Garth Nieschburg that an agreement dating back to 1999 between the city and Sutrak Corporation had recently been finalized on July 19.  The matter stems from storm water drainage system improvements along Crystal Street in the city’s industrial park along property owned by Hugh Ferdows, Sutrak president.  The agreement trades off the drainage improvements done by the city for a permanent easement across Sutrak property, for a sewer pipeline connecting to the new pump station, built last year.

By Russ Baldwin


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