Lamar Council Authorizes Letter of Support for ARPA, New Library Van Arrives


Wilson and Stagner

Lamar Mayor, Roger Stagner, signed a letter of support as requested by the City of La Junta, asking the City of Trinidad, an ARPA member, to reconsider its lawsuit against Arkansas River Power Authority. The letter also asks that efforts be made by ARPA and member cities, to find mutually acceptable solutions to the Lamar Repowering Project at this time. The Lamar City Council approved a motion authorizing Mayor Stagner’s signature on the letter, which was forwarded to those mayors’s whose cities are serviced by the regional power supplier. The next city for consideration is Holly. Trinidad officials have recommended the plant be ‘shuttered’ and an alternative power source be used as well as other measures taken to reduce unnecessary overhead. ARPA officials have been working with the boiler manufacturer, seeking a range of repairs which will bring the coal plant back on line at optimum power and emissions efficiency. Stagner signed the letter and it was forwarded for consideration. 

Former Lamar City Councilman, PJ Wilson received a plaque of recognition for his past service on the council by Mayor Stagner. Wilson, who has been working with the Lamar Police Department, noted that Officer CJ Filbeck and Chief McCrea have been in Kansas, looking at a possible replacement for K9 Joey, who will go into retirement once another dual purpose dog has been found. Wilson said there are six candidate dogs, all with great potential. Once one has been selected, it will go through a bonding process with Filbeck and spend another six weeks in drug identification training. A new K9 costs about $12,000 and Wilson said to date, the department has $5,000 for the purchase.  He mentioned that Joey’s counterpart, Wiley, scored a hit over the holiday weekend on about 27 ounces of cocaine.  

“The word has gotten around about Lamar for bus drug searches,” he said. “Dealers from Texas to Kansas to Denver have now learned that when a commercial transportation bus stops in town, one of our drug dogs will usually be there to give it a going over,” he remarked. Over the past several months, two commercial bus companies have had sporadic searches and several drug hits have occurred. 

In various community news notes, it was noted that with the June primary four weeks away, Voices of Southeast Colorado will host a Prowers County Candidate Forum at the dance room of the Lamar Community Building from 7pm to 9pm on May 31. The annual Relay for Life, to benefit the American Cancer Society, will be held this weekend, June 2 and 3, at Savage Stadium. The city council’s informal monthly breakfast meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6, from 7am to 8am at Taco Johns, South Main, Lamar.  

Phase 2 of the Lamar Airport Apron Project will be re-bid. One bid was received on May 16 for $1,663,065. The engineer’s estimate was $453,420. Mayor Roger Stagner introduced Chris Sandoval, the city’s new Water and Wastewater Engineer who has replaced Doug Montgomery. Sandoval is familiar with the southeast Colorado area, having lived and worked in Rocky Ford.  Mayor Stagner noted that Lamar Librarian Debbie Reynolds took possession of a bookmobile van, recently purchased to replace the former vehicle which was no longer serviceable.  Though smaller than the former vehicle, the van will be sufficient to transport reading materials throughout the county.


New Library Van


PCDI Executive Director, Lisa Nolder, provided an update on her activities for the Lamar City Council during their Tuesday meeting, May 29. Nolder reviewed the four point goals and mission statement for PCDI which was revised in 2010. She said she will represent Prowers County and southeast Colorado at the annual AWEA Conference in June in Atlanta, GA this year. The national wind energy gathering provides an opportunity for wind and renewable energy providers to meet with state and local representatives with the goal of attracting a business opportunity to an area. Nolder said that while wind turbine developers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach on the outcome of wind production tax credits in Washington, there are still opportunities for creating jobs through a parts and support service industry. Oil and gas development is still viable in southeast Colorado and Nolder told the council she has shown the Big R Warehouse to various businesses that could either lease or lease/purchase the property once prolonged oil drilling begins in the area.  The property is now being listed through Randle Realty in Lamar.  The agriculture industry was also mentioned as having job growth potential, not through direct farming, but with the possibility of ag product refiners locating in Prowers County as a potential processing site.  

Beverly Middleton, representing SECED, Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development, was re-appointed by the city council to a five year term on the Lamar Community Resource and Senior Center Advisory Board. Middleton’s term expires December, 2016. The council also approved re-appointing John Conyers to a five year term on the Airport Advisory Board. Conyer’s term will expire in February, 2017.

In other action, it was noted by that Lamar Partnership, Incorporated, will receive $8,300 from DoLA, the State Department of Local Affairs, to pay for consulting services in order complete the city’s downtown branding project. The target date for the project is July 1, 2012. 

Mayor Stagner noted that weed control efforts in a section of Riverside Cemetery met with failure.  Roundup was used around gravestones in an effort to keep weed trimmers from marring the markers, but the result was not what anyone wanted.  Stagner said city crews will go back to manually trimming the weeds in the future.

By Russ Baldwin

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