Lamar Council Approves Grants and Funding for Police, Fire, Computer Software

Lamar City Council

Lamar City Council

The Lamar City Council approved requests for grant applications and city equipment during their Monday, August 24th meeting, including the GOCO grant needed to finish the two remaining ball fields at the Four Plex. Rick Akers, Lamar Parks and Rec Director, outlined the final work to be done by the lowest bidder, Timberline Landscaping of Colorado Springs, for $109,614. This final project will complete fields 3 and 4 with sod and a sprinkler system, including the areas outside the fields along the walkways from the parking lot. Akers estimated the new sod on the fields should be in place by October of this year.

Akers outlined an application, approved by the council, for a new GOCO grant initiative called Inspire, a five year program aimed at inspiring kids to appreciate and experience outdoor activities. Five communities will be selected in the first, second and third years of the program. Level 1 awards are $100,000 for up to five communities chosen for the pilot program. They will be given ten months to develop their requests when they submit their applications for their chosen projects. From that, implementation grants will range from $1 to $5 million per pilot community. Healthy Places is funding $10,000 as a cash match for the grant and the awards will be announced in October. Akers wasn’t specific on the projects when asked by councilwoman Anne Marie Crampton. He explained, “Our overall strategic plan can be part of it. There’s a range of projects we can select from such as the proposed Lamar Loop or the skateboard park that’s been outlined for Bi-Centennial Park. We want to involve the entire community for their input including developing translators so we can hear from everyone in the city on this project.” Akers said there are now 27 applicants for the initial funding and the awards should be made public by October 29.

Akers also detailed an award to the City of Lamar for a Fishing for Fun grant from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for $64,000. The selection was made last October and the city received the grant award this month. The council voted to accept the grant. Akers said the entire $64,000 will be spent on the projects developed earlier for North Gateway Park. “This includes three access points where people can easily walk down to the water’s edge, a permanent restroom facility, several shade structures and a 30 by 20 foot ADA compliant floating pier. We intend to have all of this accomplished in 2015,” he remarked.

The council also approved the purchase of a computer plotter as the current model, a HP DesignJet 500 is no longer supported by HP. The 14 year old unit will be replaced by a model that can be networked between two computers. Wiley Work, City Engineer, said a scanner can be used to scan plats from the hanging file and store them in the computer. Some of the work will be done by the city’s IT department for a savings of $595. The $16,000 cost has been allocated in the Capitol Budget.

An intergovernmental agreement between the Lamar Police Department and Prowers County Sheriff’s Office and the 15th Judicial District Attorney was approved. All the agencies are pooling resources to help combat the local illegal drugs trade and the IGA sets up a foundation for the agencies to work together, providing guidance with regard to employees, equipment and payment for controlled purchase of illegal narcotics.

The council adopted a resolution recognizing Colorado Cities and Towns Week, September 14-20 which also encourages residents to support the celebration and corresponding activities. John Sutherland, City Administrator, said the concept began last year by the Colorado Municipal League to recognize the work done by municipal employees and the benefits it provides to local residents. Forty cities and towns in Colorado took part in the initial observance last year.

Administrator Sutherland updated the council on some future events, including the ARPA lighting dedication ceremony for LED lighting upgrades. This is set for the public on Thursday, August 27 at 9am at the Cultural Events Center. ARPA will conduct its monthly meeting at 10am from there. The council’s informal monthly breakfast will be held September 2 from 7-8am at Brew Unto Others on South Main Street and city offices will be closed Monday, September 7 for Labor Day. The tri-State 9/11 Tribute Fall Festival and parade will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 11 and 12 in Lamar and at the county fairgrounds. Healthy Places birthday bash is set for Saturday, September 19 at Northside Park.

The council went into executive session for an attorney conference to receive legal advice on legal questions involving the City of Lamar and Syncora, the bond insurer for the Lamar Repowering Project.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityEconomyFeaturedFire Department-RespondersLamarLaw EnforcementPublic SafetyRecreationTransportationUtilities


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