Lamar Council Greenlights Annual Jams, Okays Ordinance Limiting Semi Parking

Cinco de Mayo BBQ R 2014 (10)


Jay Gruber, owner of The Buzzard’s Roost, was granted a Temporary Modification of Premise Application in order to host two annual events, the June 13th Country Jam and the September 19th Road Jam.  A public hearing was held to discuss the request by Gruber.  Both events are held at the Buzzard’s Roost at the corner of West Hickory and North Main Streets in Lamar.  Gruber said he has nine employees who have gone through the TIP training to help identify and deal with any patron who may have had too much to drink.  Councilmember Oscar Riley noted that approval for the second event will be contingent on how well the June event is conducted.  A portion of a parking lot is fenced off to accommodate the audience, BBQ area, portable restrooms and tables for patrons.  A public hearing was scheduled for May 11 for a Special Event Permit for the Lamar Chamber of Commerce to host a beer garden on city owned property during the Taste of Lamar event, set for June 27th.

The council approved the extension of a temporary liquor license for Corner Liquor on South Main Street.  The new owners, Gail and Rodney Schroeder took possession of the business on December 1, 2014 and were granted a temporary license which expires May 1, 2015.  At this time, the State of Colorado is backlogged with over 200 applications.  The new license is valid for 180 days.

A contract between the Sand and Sage Round Up Fair Board and the Lamar Police Department was approved for security at Willow Creek Park during the annual Wild West BBQ contest set for May 8 and May 9.  This is the 11th year of the BBQ.  An off-duty officer will be assigned to the detail.  The Fiesta on the Plains will run concurrently with the BBQ at the Park.

The council approved the renewal of the agreement for the 10-33 program for the Lamar Police Department.  Lamar Police Chief, Kyle Miller said the program offers law enforcement agencies surplus equipment from the military.  Lamar has received some free equipment such as M-16 machine guns, a Humvee vehicle, an elliptical exercise machine and several rucksacks.  When asked about the M-16s, Chief Miller replied, “These are not for everyday use and are stored in our armory.  If we ever get into a situation that they’re called for, that’s the time they’ll be used.”  Chief Miller also noted that while some metro cities have requested equipment more in line with a military presence, Lamar Police Officers will not have a need for that type of gear.

It’s been a decade since the gym floor at the Lamar Community Building has been refinished.  Rick Akers, Lamar Parks and Recreation Director, told the council the floor has been maintained with a light sanding and finishing twice a year since that time, but the finish is peeling from the bottom and not adhering to the wood.  It will take about four to five weeks to sand and recoat the floor.  The cost is $19,158 and a yearly maintenance of $2,048 and is within the department’s budget for 2015.  “We’ve set aside $25,000 in the budget to cover our costs for this project,” he said.  He noted there was some concern regarding the state legislature’s actions on the use of the Savage emblem, and other similar high school team mascots that have been deemed offensive to some Indian Tribe in the state and around the country.  Akers indicated he didn’t want to get the floor done using Savage logo, only to have to change it in the near future.  “The measure has passed the House in Denver,” he informed the council, “But apparently it will not pass through the Senate.”  The gym floor is 8,715 square feet in size.  Two high school volleyball games will be rescheduled to accommodate the work, conducted from September 1 to October 5.

Two proclamations were declared by the council, one honored the 125th anniversary of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the 120th anniversary of GFWC Colorado Federation of Women’s Clubs.  Kim VanHook, President of the Lamar Chapter, Siroris, mentioned that her organization has helped numerous local organizations with donations, including:  HOPE Center, SECCI, funding a local drug dog and Hospice.  “We’re making plans to help raise funds next year to contribute to the North Gateway Park,” she remarked.  VanHook was accompanied by Denise Widner-Block, the chapter’s state secretary who said that their annual convention will be held in Lamar from April 30 to May 2 and over 60 women are expected to take part in the event which will be hosted at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn.  Lamar Elks Exalted Ruler, Cary LaCost presented the other proclamation which declares that the first week in May be recognized as Youth Week.  He said the Lamar Elks Lodge #1319 has planned an observance in tribute to the junior citizens of the community.

Following the receipt of three bids, the council voted to sub lease 300 Lamar Canal shares to Nova Somina LLC operating out of Granada. Josh Cichocki, Water/Wastewater Director, told the council the bid included $5,000 as a down payment and $60 per acre foot.  Cichocki said bidders must be shareholders for the annual sub-lease of the shares the city can’t use.

A Past Relay at Savage Stadium

A Past Relay at Savage Stadium

Sherry Kerr, coordinator for the annual Relay for Life Event, received permission from the council to hold the event at Savage Stadium on June 6.  She said this will be a shorter gathering, from 4pm to midnight and will involve about 150 persons, a smaller attendance then in years past.  “We go around the neighborhood to let residents know we will have lights and music going in the evening, but this time, we’re not going overnight and we should be out of the stadium by about 12:30am.”

Owners of semi trucks who park their vehicles on city streets for a lengthy time will get a grace period of several months before the Lamar Police Department begin to issue tickets.  Police Chief Kyle Miller read a revised ordinance before it was approved on first reading by the council.  Semis and other large vehicles in excess of 20,000 lbs will damage city streets, especially when they’re parked overnight and especially on a consistent basis.  The ordinance was based on similar ordinances from other cities that have experienced the same problem.  The ordinance prohibits parking on city streets between 5pm and 8am and on Sundays and legal holidays.  Miller said he realizes the word has to get out throughout the city, so there will be a grace period of about six months before the ordinance will be enforced.  He wasn’t exactly sure how many vehicles will be impacted by the ordinance, but owners should start making plans to park in designated areas.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, noted the roadwork connecting Camino de Santa Fe off East Olive Street is almost completed at this time, “We just have to widen the highway for CDOT and complete the paving of the connection and weather permitting, we will be done.”  Sutherland thanked the city’s highway and water departments for their work on the project which has been in a form of legislative limbo for several years.  “We should be done with this by May 18th and just may have a ribbon cutting ceremony a couple of days following,” he informed the council.

The next Lamar City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 26th because of the approaching Memorial Day holiday when city offices are closed.  The next informal council breakfast will be held Wednesday, May 6, from 7 to 8am at McDonalds in Lamar.

By Russ Baldwin

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