Lamar Partnership Inc Plans for 2013

Lamar Partnership Incorporated board members reviewed the balanced budget for 2012 during their final meeting of the year, Wednesday, December 12 at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce offices.  Various municipal and civic organizations funded the group at $18,205 for the year and the City of Lamar has contributed $15,900 to operating expenses for 2013. 

Main Street Coordinator, Shawna Hodge, told the gathering that 2013 will see a lot of fundraising efforts to help support various projects and she anticipated a mini-grant from DoLA, Department of Local Affairs, similar to the one received this past year.  “We need to make sure that our grant activities are based on the work plan we presented to them,” she explained to the board.  The grant, about $6,000, will require local matching funds and Hodge said she’d determine if those could be in the form of  in-kind contributions in lieu of a cash match.

 She said one project that will be reviewed is the opportunity to continue to paint the light poles along Main Street in Lamar between Building Material Supply, south to the railroad tracks.  The poles have been painted an ‘historic’ red color from the County Courthouse, north to the tracks, and sidewalk benches and trash receptacle containers will be painted the same color over the next several weeks.  Hodge also reviewed the historic building survey that was presented to the community at large by the architect team that surveyed 72 buildings along the Lamar Main Street area.  She said she plans to contact the owners of several vacant properties on Main Street to use their window space to showcase some of the original photos of the buildings that date back a hundred years in some cases.   

Hodge recapped some of the other highlights of the 2012 year, apart from the survey.  They included receiving a 501c4 designation from the Internal Revenue Service and adopting a new logo and brand which will be incorporated into downtown Lamar retail-oriented activities.  Other tasks in progress included an LPI website separate from the City of Lamar’s as well as a facebook page.   

Plans for 2013 include organizing tours of comparably sized cities to Lamar for LPI board and city council members.  This will provide an opportunity to see how other Main Street development projects have fared in Brush, Colorado or Guyman, Oklahoma, as they were mentioned as possibilities.  Work plan development meetings have been set for February 19-21 for next year, an Urban Renewal Authority funding application will be drafted to submit for consideration and a volume of marketing data will need to be analyzed to provide local businesses with some concrete guidelines for business expansion.

By Russ Baldwin

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