Lamar Partnership Incorporated Holds Annual Meeting

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Kevin Knight and Clifford Boxley were voted in as new LPI board members during the annual meeting, February 26. Sean Lirley was elected to a new three year term.  Board positions will remain the same with Kim Fornier as president, Melissa Bohls as vice-president, Denise Carder as treasurer and Carla Scranton as secretary. 

Executive Director, Shawna Hodge, briefed the board on various development projects during the noon meeting at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce.  “The E-waste Program is catching on with more residents dropping off their recyclable electronic equipment at Thriftway,” she said.  Guy Carter of A-1 Rental donated a holding container to store materials such as cell phones and computers before it’s shipped to a recycling center.  Hodge said 22 bags, about 300 pounds of electronic gear, was dropped off this past Saturday, adding, “People from Kiowa County came down with close to a half ton of material recently.”  Drop off hours will be shortened from10am to 1pm beginning March 8.  Hodge said she’ll check into insurance liability issues when LPI begins to solicit civic groups to volunteer to work on the second and fourth Saturdays for collections.  Those groups will be paid a percentage of the fees collected during their volunteer days. 

Looking Towards Beech Street from Edge of Proposed Lot

Looking Towards Beech Street from Edge of Proposed Lot

Shawna Hodge said she is working on three future projects: using Urban Redevelopment Authority funds to purchase the vacant lot on East Beech Street across from the chamber, developing a citizen’s guide to how the URA works and producing a brochure that outlines the type of permits and codes required to begin a business in Lamar.  The property is a privately owned vacant lot the city would purchase using Tax Incremental Funding generated from business improvements within the URA district.  $30,000 would be paid out over three years.  Hodge said the land can be developed to host future downtown events.  Hodge noted the City of Lamar Spring Clean-up day will be Saturday, April 26.

LPI was awarded a DOLA mini-grand of $7,000 for 2014 which requires a 25% match.  The board decided to continue current projects for the downtown area, such as painting Main Street light poles, instead of developing new ones.  Hodge said a merchandising consultant will be in Lamar on March 12 for hands-on consultation with various business owners on optimizing their window displays and merchandise presentations. 

In the absence of a current local historic preservation board, LPI members will address the Lamar City Council to allow them to act in that capacity.  The board will work with an architectural advisor on design concepts to showcase historically accurate building facades from decades ago.  KVAY, Farmer/McCullough, Wild West Athletics and Coronica’s are developing plans for future alterations.  CDOT informed the board that Colorado Main Street signs will be ready to be installed this spring.  The board is also seeking authenticated pictures of local cattle drives from years past which will be displayed from downtown business storefronts. 

Rose Ann Yates discussed the ‘Hotter than Hell’ music festival being planned for Lamar on July 19.  “We’re seeking three or more bands that feature classic rock music,” she explained, adding that because country-western music is so prevalent in this area already, rock would be an alternative that could draw larger crowds.  The festival will include a beer tent and food booths at the chamber location.  Anyone interested in offering ideas or is willing to help can attend the next planning meeting at noon at the chamber on March 19.

By Russ Baldwin

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