Second Time for Cook on City Council

Ron Cook takes his oath of office for the city council

Ron Cook takes his oath of office for the city council

Two separate city council sessions were held Monday, November 11, preceded by a work session to review the municipal Rates and Fees schedule for 2014.  A proposal noting some changes for the approaching year was tabled for an additional work session discussion because of the wide scope of services and fees that were covered. 

Two council meetings were held because of the change in council membership.  Keith Nidey held his last meeting on Monday, as he declined to run for another term.  Nidey told the council, “You do more than most people think you do,” as he left his seat.  Ron Cook, a former city councilman submitted his lone name for the seat and the second session of the evening convened after he was sworn his oath of office by municipal judge, Larry Stutler.  Additional oaths were taken by Mayor at Large, Roger Stagner, Oscar Riley for District 2 and Kirk Crespin for District 1.  The outgoing council approved the annexation of 108 acres now known as North Gateway Park as part of the consent agenda.  The property is being re-zoned A-L for Agriculture District.  Linda Williams, City Clerk, noted that sales tax revenues for the city increased 3.14% year to date for a gain of $88,822.36.   

Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook, and Chris Duffy and Trevor LaCost, two organizers of the annual Haunted House, informed the council that $4,413 had been raised from this year’s haunted tour.  The funds are used to help purchase fireworks for the annual 4th of July display.  This marks the fourth year of the seven year history of the house that the funds were dedicated to the display. 

With the new lineup on the council, members held housekeeping duties including election of Mayor Pro-Tem with Skip Ruedeman re-elected to that position, authorization for check signing and banks for holding city funds were also selected which included Valley National Bank, Frontier Bank, Colorado East Bank & Trust, Community State Bank and Legacy Bank.  City funds may also be deposited with CSAFE, Colo Trust and Edward Jones. 

Council members will be assigned to seventeen various city liaison positions at their next meeting.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, reviewed dates of upcoming events in the city including the Farm City Banquet Friday, November 15, the rededication of the Madonna of the Trail statue on November 23 at 11am, the 10th annual Fantasy Tree Event to benefit Domestic Safety Resource Center, also on the 23rd, and the annual Parade of Lights on December 6.  “Through the Eyes of A Child” was selected as this year’s theme for the float entries. 

With Ron Cook’s departure from the Lamar Utilities Board to take a seat on the city council, the need for a replacement member was advertised.  The board selected the loan entry from Pastor Rick Beard who will fill out the unexpired term of Cook’s, until August, 2016. 

The council awarded Neverest Equipment, the middle priced bidder for the purchase of specialized sewer inspection equipment.  The company was selected from three bid submissions.  Josh Cichocki, City Water and Wastewater Director, said the camera equipped equipment will save the city time and money when it needs to find the source of water breaks or other associated problems with water lines. 

City Treasurer, Kristin Rau, informed the council that the Sales and Use Tax will be reduced by .25% as the city will have paid off the Library Bond of $1,253,925 as of December 15, 2013.    A follow up resolution, approved by the council, reduced the tax by the .25% from the Bond.  Lamar City and Use Tax will now be a flat 3% rate.  Rau said $74,000 in surplus funds will be kept in a special account to be used for capital improvements to the library.  The rate change begins at the start of the New Year. 

The council passed an ordinance on first reading authorizing a $792,850  loan from the Colorado Water Conservation Board to help finance the six mile South Well Field Transmission Line Project.  The loan is being paid off by a $1 per customer per month, meter fee for Lamar water users.  Once the loan has been paid off, the fee will be dropped.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEnergyFeaturedLamarPoliticsProwers CountyPublic SafetyUtilities


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