Lamar City Council Discusses ‘Enclave’ Annexation

City of Lamar

City Administrator John Sutherland and City Engineer, Wiley Work, briefed the city council on a ‘keyhole’ enclave created when the city annexed the Holiday Inn Express property off North Main Street in 2010.  One area of land remains outside the city boundaries, but is surrounded by incorporated city property.  Almost 30 acres of land owned by various parties, forms a triangle running north from Avenida Colonia, the former Auwarter Drive, to the tip of Crystal Street and west of Valco Road.  The property line falls behind a series of businesses on Highway 50 on the west and privately owned property on the east.  Mayor Roger Stagner didn’t see any particular gain for the businesses if the land was annexed into city boundaries, “I can’t see any benefit for these land owners, except that they’ll see their taxes increase.”  Most of the property consists of open lots with hardly any retail operations with the exception of Lamar Feed and Grain, located on Anderson Street. WHO Manufacturing has a storage building on the land and some other businesses along North Main Street between T.L. Tucker, north to Crystal Street may have the rear of their property adjacent to the unincorporated land.    Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook said the annexation could improve the fire insurance ratings (ISOs) of the property owners if they were annexed, and Mayor Stagner stated there was no way to determine if those potential savings would offset the increased city taxes the businesses would pay.  Roberto Becerril, City Planning and Community Development Director, stated that any building constructed in that area would be exempt from city building codes.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, said there’s no rush to any determination at this point.  The council will make some inquiries of the land owners for their opinions.  The question of annexation will remain open ended pending additional information. 

The Lamar City Council set Monday, March 10th as the date for a public hearing requested by the Lamar Eagles #3898.  The Lodge has made an application for a New Tavern Liquor License.  The Lamar Aeries currently holds a Club Liquor License.  The council also scheduled a public hearing on the Eagles Lodge Special Events Permit request for 6pm, Thursday, February 20 at council chambers. 

The City of Lamar will continue to participate as a Colorado Main Street Community in the Colorado Main Street Program.  Shawna Hodge, Executive Director of Lamar Partnership, Incorporated, explained there will be no fee associated with a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Local Affairs, but she will ask her board of directors to approve a $1,000 donation, the same amount of the fee.  City Administrator Sutherland told the council a retail leakage report indicates businesses are losing about $83million to cities such as Garden City or Pueblo, simply because residents are shopping out of town.  He said that is one area that economic development needs to address through a pending Market Niche Assessment.  Shawna Hodge noted that Saturday, July 19 has been set as the first annual, “Hotter than Hell” music festival for Lamar.  The fundraiser is planned as an all day event incorporating different types of live music with an aggressive downtown sales campaign.  Hodge and LPI board members will hold their annual meeting at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce offices on Wednesday, February 12, beginning at noon. 

The council approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Lamar School District and the Parks and Recreation Department.  Rick Akers, Director, explained this contract merely extends the old one for a three year agreement at the same fee of $19,000 a year for school district use of city facilities. 

Sutherland listed some future community activities for the council including the Fireman’s Ball, Friday, February 14th at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn which raises funds for the annual fireworks display, City offices will be closed Monday, February 17 for President’s Day, the 12th Annual High Plains Snow Goose Festival will run from February 20th to the 23rd, the annual meeting of Lamar Partnership, Incorporated will be on Wednesday, February 26 at the Chamber of Commerce office, the annual PCDI banquet is set for Wednesday,  March 5th at the LCC Wellness Center and the spring clean up day for Lamar is set for Saturday, April 26.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCitycommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedLamar


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