City Council Moves to Complete Sportsplex, Sets Public Hearing on Zoning for Patel Property

Sports Complex 7-14 (4)

Greater Outdoors Colorado has approved a grant for the City of Lamar for funding to complete the remaining two ball fields at the city’s four-plex.  The first of the four fields, off Savage Avenue in Lamar, was completed in 2010, enabling Lamar to host a Cal Ripkin World Series event.  Rick Akers, Lamar Parks and Recreation Director, told the council that the remaining two fields will be used for softball competition.  The work to be completed includes 1,514 feet of curbing, 1,474 feet of fencing, four, four foot gates and two, twelve foot gates.  Some curbing construction is also required.  Bids were sent out in September and the city awarded the lowest bid of $56,000 to MonCor Construction of Lamar.  Akers said the GoCO grant was approximately $340,000, and work on the project is set to start this fall.

A public hearing has been set for October 13 for the discussion of zoning changes and updating district boundaries for property owned by Shree Madhavkishan Infra Housing Projects Private Limited, represented locally by Peter Patel. Patel presented his request to alter Lots 2 and 9 from Forest Park Place Subdivision to the Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this month, from Open Estates to Residential-1 and Commercial-2, approximately 11 acres each for property located between the Lamar Canal, north to Holly Street, between Hickory House Restaurant and McDonalds.  The commission approved the request to submit the proposal to the Lamar City Council for a public hearing.

The Lamar City Council agreed to provide their annual discount on ambulance fees for this year’s LCC Antelope Stampede Rodeo, scheduled for October 3rd through the 5th.  Lamar Community College requested that the standby fee of $190 be dropped and the college will provide for the cost of the three ambulance crew members from Lamar Fire and Ambulance.  This reduces the cost to the college of $90 for the first three hours of use and $35 per hour after the first three hours.  Council member, Anne Marie Crampton, who is LCC’s Foundation Executive Director, said the college appreciates the consideration from the city, as the revenue generated from the event helps finance college activities.  She added that, ”You’ll have a chance to see a lot of old cowboys in town this weekend with the Old Cowboys Reunion.”  This first-time event is hosted by LCC with about 100 alumni from the 50s, 60s and 70s scheduled to attend.

Doug Thrall was approved to the Lamar Utilities Board by the city council, acting on the recommendation made by that board earlier in the month. Thrall, a Lamar businessman, was appointed to a full, five-year term, filling the vacancy created by the departure of David Anderson after his term expired.  There had been some initial concern with Thrall’s nomination as he belongs to a group of businessmen who brought a lawsuit against ARPA, Arkansas River Power Authority, of which Lamar Light and Power is a member.  The Lamar Utilities Board found there would be no conflict of interest, but in some instances, Thrall may have to remove himself from executive sessions which involve that litigation.

Now that the Lamar Public Library has security cameras in place, the Library Board submitted their policies to the city council for review and approval. The policies will be placed on the library’s webpage and patrons may receive a hardcopy upon request.  Debbie Reynolds, Lamar Librarian, explained the cameras were requested to help the staff monitor activities inside and outside the library.  Cameras will not be installed in areas of the library where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in restrooms.  On another matter Reynolds told the council the library will use the current Study Room to assist clients who need to use a Video Service Delivery program with the Social Security Administration.  “This will benefit residents in Prowers, Kiowa and Baca Counties,” she explained.  She added, “Right now, someone from Baca County would have to drive to the La Junta office hoping to see a representative, and they’re only open from 9am to Noon.  If there are more people ahead of you by closing time, you’ve used the entire day just traveling and waiting.”  Reynolds said this will be a secure site and at a minimum cost of $50, the library was opening a spare room as a study area.

In other action, Lamar Police Chief, Gary McCrea, praised Rory Gillespie for his perfect attendance for the 16 week Citizen’s academy Course, conducted by the police and the Lamar Fire and Ambulance departments. “Rory was one of 21 students who took the course, which was expanded this go round to 16 weeks.  Of the nine that made it through, he attended each course.”  McCrea remarked that this concluded the fourth year the Academy has given local citizens a taste and experience of what law enforcement officers experience on the job.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, reminded the council their informal breakfast meeting will be Wednesday, October 1, from 7 to 8am at Daylight Donut. Other future events included Oktoberfest this Saturday, October 4, the city-wide clean-up day has been set for the Saturday after, on October 11 from 7am to 4pm or earlier.  The grand opening of the H.U.B. Children’s Computer Lab at the Lamar Library will begin at 11am on October 4 and the fall book sale for Friends of the Library start Sunday, October 5 for members only.  The sale is open to the public Monday through Wednesday.

By Russ Baldwin





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