Only a few Lamar city water customers will be impacted by the changes in fee and rate charges for 2012, approved by the Lamar City Council during their November 28 meeting. Water and Wastewater manager, Doug Montgomery, explained that the city has never adopted rates for customers using 4″ or 6″ meters. Montgomery said those customers using those large volume meters have been charged at the 3″ rate and the council’s approval will enact a more appropriate rate structure. The impact will be minimal as the city has only 10 customers with 3″ service, one Commercial and two City customers with 4″ service and one customer with 6″ service. Those customers with 3/4″ taps will remain the same and those with one inch taps will have their fees adjusted downward, from $2,194 to $2,167. Wastewater users will also see a reduction on their one inch taps, from $1,330 to $1,083 in 2012. Water deposits for in and outside the city will also be reduced for 1.5 inch taps and larger.
The new city council for 2012 was set with the newest member, Anne-Marie Crampton taking her oath of office as administered by Judge Larry Stutler. Crampton is replacing former councilman Jim Larrick. There were only minor changes on the city liaison appointments to boards and commissions. Crampton will replace PJ Wilson on the Airport Board and will replace Kirk Crespin on the Community Resource & Senior Center Board. Wilson will take Larrick’s position as liaison to the Golf Board and Crespin will serve on the Water Board.
Lamar Rotary President Karen Ketcham and members George Gotto and Judy Turpin visited with the council during the work session for community improvement suggestions for the Club. The Lamar Rotary works on a July to June year, and the group wondered if any civic projects could be framed in that time span, beginning in early summer. Suggestions from the Rotary members and council ran from a heating system for Santa’s Workshop in the Enchanted Forest, to improvements to the Valco Property now owned by the city, upgrades to Escondido Park where numerous soccer games are played in-season, a project involving the Caretaker’s House in Willow Creek Park, or some form of donation for the third ball field at the city sports complex. City Administrator Bill Pfeilsticker and Mayor Roger Stagner said they’d meet with city department heads about potential projects and review them with the Lamar Rotary in several weeks.
Administrator Pfeilsticker told the council the city has fulfilled its obligation for the installation of new sewer pipe and several manholes at the Cow Palace Inn. The $35,500 project, using tax funds from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, paid for the upgrade. Pfeilsticker said some completion work on the project is still pending inside the motel, and those costs fall to the motel’s new owners. The administrator said a second round of bids for curb and drainage work on Sutrak property in the industrial park will be opened on December 1. The first round of bids submitted and advertised by the city were not responded to.
Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook advised the council of an award the city will receive from the State Homeland Security Grant Program. The $20,000 grant will go towards the cost of upgrades and new equipment for the fire department beginning with $5,000 in new communications equipment. The balance will be spent in later phases for self-contained breathing units and a combustible gas detector. Cook explained that an intergovernmental agreement with Bent County is needed as that county is the fiscal agent for the Southeast Region All Hazards Board and they administer the funding. The council approved the IGA.
In other action, the council ratified a recent phone poll granting agent of record status to Benefit Health Advisor for the 2012 city employee health insurance coverage. The council also approved a service agreement between the city and Meritain Health to be the city’s third party administer regarding the city’s health and dental plan. A resolution was passed by the council approving a revision to a contract between the city and Jviation Incorporated for upgrades to the city airport’s ramp and the construction of two hardstands which will secure heavy duty aircraft.
by Russ Baldwin