Lamar Council Approves Utility Developments

lamar colorado 2013

The council authorized an agreement for engineering services for $10,000 for the Main Street Water Distribution System Project Needs Assessment.  The goal is to replace the city’s aging water mains underneath Main Street in anticipation of CDOT’s re-surfacing project set to begin in early 2016.  A Needs Assessment on the project, costing $10,000, is required before the state approves the funding.  Representatives from Atmos Energy asked that they be kept in the loop along with CDOT officials regarding the renovation project.  They expressed concern about the location of gas meters and active or inert gas lines under Main Street once the project was underway.

An ordinance between the City of Lamar and Atmos Energy was passed on first reading.  The current franchise agreement expires this November and allows for the supply of natural gas to Lamar residents and the adjacent Territory.  The new ordinance will place the franchise agreement on the November ballot for voter approval with a term of 20 years, expiring on November 12, 2035.  In exchange for the franchise, the City of Lamar receives 5% of the monthly revenues for the sale of gas within the City.  This was budgeted at $115,000 for 2015.

The Lamar Welcome Center will be financed for the 2015-2016 year.   The council approved a revised format, different from the annual contract agreement between the state and the city.  Lamar will receive $25,031 for the Welcome Center salary and benefits, plus $20,665 for Center operations, $7,500 for volunteers and $1,500 for travel expenses for a total of $54,696.

Administrator John Sutherland led the discussion with the council for a letter of support for SECED’s re-designation as an Enterprise Zone.  SECED is Southeast Colorado Economic Development and serves five counties in southeast Colorado by funding various business and home improvement loans.  The new designation allows businesses located in the zone to be eligible for various tax credits for investments they make in a business including rehabilitation of vacant buildings, job creation, job skills training and equipment purchases.  Stephanie Gonzales, SECED Executive Director, indicated earlier that these letters of support would aid the organization’s application for the enhanced zone status.

Nineteen residents who enrolled for the most current Citizens Academy with Police Chief Kyle Miller and the Lamar Fire and Ambulance Department were recognized with certificates of their participation.  The Chief instituted a shorter course of only several weeks as opposed to the previous 13 week training session held over a series of Thursday nights.

Administrator Sutherland provided several reminders about future community events, including the Ports-to-Plains summer conference in Lamar, set for July 15 and 16.  The second annual Hotter than Hell Music and Arts Festival which will be held from 3pm to midnight on July 18 at the Lamar Chamber and Enchanted Forest in Lamar.  The annual Lamar Chamber ice cream social will begin at 6pm at Willow Creek Park adjacent to the swimming pool parking lot on Thursday, July 30.

The City was recently awarded a Path of Trails Grant from GoCO for the Lamar Loop project.  The City officially needs to accept and approve the funding in the amount of $996,619.  There was a brief discussion regarding railroad crossing points.  Sutherland said each crossing is estimated at $50,000 and there may be several depending on the course of the Loop, estimated to be a little longer than eight miles at this point in development.

The City of Lamar received approval from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to use cell 2 at the municipal landfill on County Road 14.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyEnergyEventsFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyRecreationTransportationUtilitiesWater Report


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.