Lamar Council Okays Levee Study Funding

Foliage Removed from Spillway Near Tennis Courts for Improved Water Runoff

Foliage Removed from Spillway Near Tennis Courts for Improved Water Runoff

The City of Lamar is following through with Willow Creek Levee improvements as required by FEMA.  Mapping the nation’s levee systems was mandated several years ago by the federal agency as a means of providing timely information for adequate insurance coverage within a community’s flood plain which would be impacted by a 100 year flood.  The city council voted to accept a DOLA grant of $6,500 for JVA Incorporated to outline a scope of work for engineering services for levee improvements.  The firm will also provide an estimate of the cost of completion of the five projects in the program.  As detailed two years ago, the project includes increasing the Willow Creek channel capacity, improving the Willow Valley Road crossing, raise the levee freeboard in specific areas, close the levee opening at Walnut Street and negotiate variances for trees near the levee toe.  The total estimated fee is $13,000.  City Engineer, Wiley Work, told the council he’s taken numerous independent contour measurements for height and level readings on the levees in question and his readings show the city to be in better shape than an initial study done by an engineering firm called ICON several years ago.  The price tag for overall improvements is $750,000, but he believes that his information, coupled with the JVA findings, would allow fewer upgrades to the levee.  Work said he believes the new information would convince FEMA that less work is required on the city levee system.  Work said the ICON firm also did studies on the Granada and Holly levees.

The Lamar City Council will allow overnight fishing at North Gateway Park, providing a resident applies for a permit which must be shown to a law enforcement officer who might check on the park between 10:30pm and 4:30am.  The idea of overnight fishing was brought to the council’s attention during the August 11 session by two residents, Donald Bauersachs and Louis Semmel, who also presented a petition with about 100 citizens who intend to go fishing in the dark.  The permit, available from the city offices, is seasonal, April through October.

Sutherland noted that a presentation on the history of Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be presented by author, Tom Tudor, at the Lamar Library at 7pm on September 11. Other future events include the third annual Tri-State 9/11 Remembrance Tribute set for September 11 through the 13th with a Saturday morning parade from Beech Street to the Prowers County Fairgrounds.  The parade route has been altered this year to avoid Main Street and travel along South 6th and South 9th Streets.  The city’s semi-annual Fall Clean Up day is set for Saturday, September 27 between 7am and 4pm.  The administrator said this year’s clean-up will focus more on litter and debris throughout the city, more than cleaning the attic or garage.  Councilwoman Crampton, who proposed the change in focus several months ago, noted that an appeal would have to be made to civic groups to help volunteer.  The council will discuss the options.

Lamar Librarian, Debbie Reynolds, informed the council of a proclamation designating September as Library Card Sign Up Month.  She said the library will have some tokens of appreciation to hand to those who register for a new card.

The brief council meeting included reminders of upcoming events, including the monthly informal breakfast meeting which will be held on Wednesday, September 3, between 7 and 8am at Burger King.  City Administrator John Sutherland noted receiving an information letter for the city from Charter Communications.  The cable provider will have its contract renewal with Lamar come due the latter part of September.  A price hike for some services was noted in the company’s August billing cycle.  Sutherland congratulated Code Enforcement Officer Kenny Davis, and Lamar Fireman Jeremy Burkhart for being selected in the Lamar Ledger’s annual People’s Choice Award, as most popular police officer and fireman according to the informal survey.

The council went into executive session for discussion of a personnel matter relative to the City Administrator’s employment.

By Russ Baldwin

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