Lamar Council Approves Funding for LPD Policy Upgrades



The Lamar Police Department will receive a new policy and procedure manual from the firm, Lexipol.  Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller, explained the service will also provide local officers with daily scenarios-based training that reinforces agency approved policies and procedures, as well as regular updates for the life of the contract.  Chief Miller added, “If it ever comes down to a lawsuit, we’re going to have dependable policies.”  He continued, “This is something that CIRSA is really behind and they give extra bonus points to a community that adopts this service.”  Chief Miller said the state has already given Lamar $1,600 towards the cost of the service and he can reapply for the remaining $4,900 in July once the state begins its new fiscal year.  He added that the policies can be fine tuned to fit the needs of the Lamar Police Department.  “We’re going to get into the body cams in the future.  Lexipol will send us a basic outline of policies and from there we can customize how we want to conduct our operation, whether we use the body cams all the time or just when we make a contact, for example.”  He said the Sheriff’s Office will use the Lexipol manual as well sometime in the future.

Three proclamations were recognized by the council; one honors the Volunteers of Lamar Area Hospice for their years of continued support and services to patients and family caregivers facing serious and life-limiting illnesses.  Another proclamation designated the week of April 12th through the 18th as National Library Week.  Lamar Librarian, Debbie Reynolds, told the council that despite the use of online sources for facts and figures, libraries are adopting with the changes, and reclaiming their reputations of finding facts and information quickly and easily.  The council approved a renewal contract for EBSCO Host Online Database for the year for $1,685.

The third proclamation declared April 12th through the 18th as Arbor Week in Lamar and April 16th as Arbor Day.  Judy Arnold of the Lamar Tree Board presented the City of Lamar with the 2014 Tree City USA Award, the 24th year Lamar has received this recognition.  Arnold said the Tree Board has funding to plant 22 new trees in the Lamar area.  “On Thursday, April 16, members of the Tree Board, Lamar City Crews and 5th graders at Parkview Elementary School will plant trees at the new ball field.  Last year we planted 195 trees at North Gateway Park.  This year, we’ll have fewer, but bigger trees in 15 gallon buckets.  They were paid for through grants, the city’s budget and from a donation by the Lamar Lions.  Seven trees will also be planted at the Prowers Medical Center walking trail.”  She said the planting at the ball field will begin at 12:45 in the afternoon.

The annual Wild West BBQ Contest is set for May 7th through 9th this year.  The council approved the annual request to allow overnight camping for some of the contestants and for police security of the campers and BBQ equipment during the annual event.

Rick Akers, Lamar Parks and Recreation Director, was appointed by the council as a liaison member to Spreading Antlers Country Club’s board of directors.  This action was developed through a portion of a continued funding agreement between the country club and the City of Lamar.  The city has renewed an earlier commitment of $15,000 a year to help fund improvements to the golf course.

Because the CDOT Overlay project for Highway 287 along Lamar’s Main Street has been set back on the calendar until 2016, the city council approved the State Revolving Fund planning grant application which will keep the application alive.  Lamar had submitted a DOLA Tier I Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Grant last December which would fund the replacement of water distribution mains under the highway.  Water and Waste Water Director, Josh Cichocki, told the council the new application for $10,000,  will ensure the city has the needed funding to prepare for the re-surfacing project when it presents the entire project to the state in the form of a grant loan application.  The total cost of the project is estimated at $2,238,800.  Funding for $15,000 to update the city’s Water Conservation Plan was approved by the Colorado Water Conservation Board in 2007.  The council now seeks additional funding for other tasks such as the Arkansas River Basin Implementation Plan, the state’s Water Plan and the SECWCD’s Conservation Plan.  The council approved the new agreement.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for Prowers Medical Center’s renovation project were held earlier in the day on Monday.  The hospital had requested around $55,000 in the form of a waiver of building permit fees for the $12M project.  In its search to find former, similar waivers, the city could only come across low or no-cost water and sewer tap fees it had offered to High Plains Community Health Center several years ago during a construction project.  As there are no such water oriented projects for PMC, the city approved a $5,000 discount on the hospital’s building permit and will probably use that allowance as a guideline for any future requests for other construction projects from other parties.

The first reading of an ordinance prohibiting parking of semis or other vehicles in excess of 20,000 pounds on Lamar’s residential streets was held by the council.  City Administrator, John Sutherland, stated the weight is taking its toll on the roadways, especially if the vehicles are left in one place for a long period.  Residential streets have not been designed to bear vehicle weight in excess of the ten ton limit.  Prior to the ordinance, there had not been any specifications on the weight load for vehicles parked on city streets.  Some language issues on the ordinance required correcting, as well as how the hours and days prohibiting parking would be regulated.  Chief Miller said he’d review how the ordinance was written and make corrections based on the council’s and city attorney’s recommendations.  Miller said he should have it ready for consideration by the next council meeting.

By Russ Baldwin

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