City of Lamar Gains Four New Police Officers

Swear In OfficersLamar Police Chief, Gary McCrea, introduced three new full time police officers and one reserve officer during the city council’s Monday night meeting, December 9. The officers are: Jason LaCost, Robert Sharrer, Branden Kemp and Reserve Officer Margaret Ausbun. Chief McCrea noted that, “It’s nice to see some local folks applying to the department.” He said all the officers had finished a 16 week training course at the Police Academy and are in to their second week of field training with the Lamar Police Department.

Robert Bercerril, Planning and Community Development Director, displayed a new list of guidelines for building projects in Lamar that would require building permits. The one page information sheet takes an applicant through all the steps needed to obtain a permit, information on the need for contractor’s licenses and the criteria to determine if one is needed, based on the scope of the building project. Resident, Pastor Galen Burnett questioned the need to have a contractor conduct some aspects of local building projects, stating the cost increase could hamper repair jobs for some of his parishioners, which he is personally working on. “I can put up a retaining wall without a contractor’s fees,” he stated. Bercerril explained that everyone has to abide by safety codes, and the rules aren’t new to the community, the brochure simply explains the ordinances which have been in place for several years. He said that there are some guidelines that will be enforced at a state level, and most of the codes are built around liability issues, when work is not done by someone who is licensed and bonded. Bercerril said his department has some flexibility regarding smaller projects, and Mayor Roger Stagner added that the council will review some aspects of the brochure before it’s mailed to utility customers in the city.

The council approved Britina Design Group as the firm which will develop a Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan for the community. After two rounds of interviews the Britina Design Group was selected from five bidders for the project. The total cost of the Master Plan in $74,740 of which $10,000 will come from the city’s Conservation Trust Fund and the balance from a $1 million grant the city received earlier in the year from Healthy Places, Colorado Health Foundation. The grant was derived from an assessment of the community conducted by Urban Land Institute this past April during a weeklong visit to the community and numerous citizen interviews. Parks and Recreation Director, Rick Akers, said the initial study would take several months to complete.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, invited the public to an informal Library Bond Early Retirement observance, Monday, December 23 at 6pm at the Cultural Events Center. The bond used to make improvements to the Lamar Library is being retired early, and instead of a mortgage party, the document will be shredded. Sutherland noted that city offices will be closed for the holidays on December 24 and 25 as well as Wednesday, January 1, 2014. The date for the monthly city council informal breakfast was changed to January 8 instead of the usual first Wednesday of each month.

Several appointments to various boards were approved by the council City Attorney.  Garth Nieschburg, was reapproved for a seat on the ARPA board for a four year term, ending December 2017. County Commissioner Joe Marble was reappointed to a five year term on the Community Resource and Senior Center board ending December 10, 2018. The council also approved the reappointment of Judge Larry Stutler as municipal judge for the City of Lamar for not less than two years past the approaching expiration date of December 31, 2013.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedHealthLamarLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyRecreationUtilities


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