Lamar Administrator Search Down to Final Five

Interim Lamar City Administrator Steven Rabe told the council that five finalists for the permanent city administrator position have been made aware of their status. Seven persons were given phone interviews on June 18 and 19 by Rabe, and based on those interviews, plus additional information on the candidates, five are being forwarded to the council for its consideration. The five are: Carlo Pilgrim of Boothbay, Maine, Fred Ventresco of Wilmington, Vermont, Eric Strahl of Menominee, Michigan, John Sutherland of Santa Fe, New Mexico and David Varley of Delta, Colorado. Rabe laid out a timeline for the council indicating a selection on the new administrator would be completed by August. A public meet and greet is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, July 12 and final interviews will be conducted by the council the following day. Rabe did not submit an application for the position. The council voted to accept the five finalists.

An intergovernmental agreement between Lamar and the City of Springfield was approved. The IGA will allow Bobby Ward, Lamar Chief Building Official to provide similar, as needed, services to Springfield for the application and enforcement of the various International Codes. Fees for services will be $40 per hour, plus standard mileage reimbursement. The one year contract begins at the time of signing. Ward told the council he had been contacted by Springfield Town Manager, James Bradley. He said Bradley stated ther were some structures in the town that he believed needed to be condemned and Ward will provide guidance on the matter. Ward also assists the town of Holly with building code matters.

Interim administrator Rabe explained the agreement between the city and Honeywell Building Solutions for an energy audit of city owned property and water systems. Rabe told the council, the agreement is taking a task-oriented approach in which the city will provide written authorization for the appointed contractor to conduct a specified task. The HVAC system at the Lamar Community Building is taking first priority. A determination will be made to replace or improve the system, along with other technical areas. The rough estimate of the project is $460,000. Other projects may be added by a fee-based, case by case selection. A 44 page agreement summarizes what tasks have been outlined for the council for improvements. Representatives of Honeywell have appeared at past city council meetings outlining the scope of the project. As the HVAC system at the Community Building is no longer functioning as well as it could, and given its constant use, the project was set at the top of the list.

Essentially all the projects are designed to pay for themselves through more efficient and lower cost utilities to such areas as the community building, library and municipal complex, water metering systems and wastewater facilities. A preliminary study was conducted following the guidelines set up by the Governor’s Energy Office and there will be no charge to the city for the feasibility study which was conducted earlier this year.

The 2013 budget calendar was discussed by the council. Rabe informed the council that the new budget should better represent capital projects, current and future and allow the incoming administrator the greatest amount of exposure to the council’s budget forming procedures. The timeline stretches between late June and a final, approved budget by January 11, 2013. The first budget workshop is proposed for August 13, the second on September 24 and the final review by October 22.

The legalization of marijuana is back before the voters. The council, which had banned the sale and use of the drug through a lengthy moratorium several years ago, took little time to vote in favor of a “No on 64” resolution prohibiting the recreational use of the drug in Colorado. The amendment is scheduled to appear on the November 2012 ballot. A resolution of opposition was prepared in advance of the council vote for consideration. It urges voters to vote no on amendment 64. If passed, Colorado would become the first state in the union to make possession and use of one ounce of marijuana legal for anyone over 21 years of age for recreational purposes. It would also allow the drug to be sold legally in retail outlets.

Extra-territorial water services for Gary Campbell was approved for a ¾ inch water tap for service outside the city limits of Lamar. The tap will be installed on CR 6 in Lamar. The city Water Board approved the request on June 7, 2012. Lamar Water Superintendent, Chris Sandoval also approved the request. Campbell will be paying a double rate for water services as he is located outside the city limits.

On a separate water matter, City Water Engineer, Chris Sandoval informed the council, the city’s well water system is in very good shape, and the recent hot weather has not placed any restrictions on water usage. However, Mayor Roger Stagner reminded residents, that although there are no restrictions as there were several years ago, citizens should still be conservation minded in their daily use of water.

The Lamar City Council, following a public hearing on a request for a beer garden from the Lamar Chamber of Commerce, granted the special event permit for the annual event, set for October 6 from 11am to 10pm at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce parking lot. Lamar Police Chief, Gary McCrea, in the absence of any valid protest, recommended that the permit be approved. The council also approved a trade name change for Wal-Mart Stores for their liquor license. The Lamar Wal-Mart will no longer be named as a Supercenter on the license, based on the level of revenues generated by the store.

In other action, the council noted that Bike to Work Day will be observed this Wednesday, June 27 from 7am to 8am at the Lamar Community Building, with a free breakfast to all riders. City offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 and the informal council breakfast will be held on Wednesday, July 11 at 7am at Rancher’s Restaurant at the Lamar Truck Stop. A new K9 dog, “Nero” will soon join the Police Department. Police Chief McCrea said he has put down $6,000 on a $9,500 agreement for the dual purpose dog. Nero is a year old German Shepherd, born and trained in Poland. He should be in Lamar by mid July to begin additional training with his handler at the Ironheart Training facility in Shawnee, Kansas.

George Vallejos was appointed to the city Adjustment and Appeals Board, replacing Richard Hendrickson for a five year term, expiring July 2, 2017. Hendrickson’s term expired last year. There is still one vacancy on the board.

The council approved a six month contract extension for Tasha Shelton for rental of the aerobics’ room at the Lamar Community Building for Zumba exercises. Leisure Services Director, Rick Akers said the room will be used Tuesday and Thursdays for a contract fee of $864, the same as the previous six months.

By Russ Baldwin

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