Prowers County Backs Tri State Transmission Project

Prowers County Courthouse

The Prowers County Commissioners joined with several other counties this past week, offering a resolution of support for the Tri State G & T, Tri State Lamar-Front Range Transmission Project.  The project will develop a high voltage electricity transmission system by 2018 across eastern and southern Colorado.   

Fourteen counties in eastern Colorado, including six in southeast Colorado, will be impacted by the 400 mile long power line project.  The estimated cost of the venture is in the neighborhood of a quarter of a billion dollars, pending cost increases for land and materials by the time the project is finished. 

The transmission line route will pass through five Energy Resource Zones outlined in the project.  Vilas and Lamar will be connected.  This route was added, according to Prowers County Commissioner Gene Millbrand, at the urging of SEBREA, the economic development group comprised of the six counties in southeastern Colorado.  Other connections include Lamar to Burlington, Burlington to Big Sandy and northwest to Missile Site in Arapahoe County, and another connection running east/west between Lamar and Comanche.  The letter of resolution from the Prowers County Commissioners qualifies their support in that, “it does not approve any particular land use, route, or zoning, nor any activity related to areas of state interest as designated under the 1041 regulations, but rather, supports the Certificate of Public Convenience and Need process at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to establish the public need for the Lamar Front Range Transmission Project.” 

Tri State representatives have said the letters of support from the area counties are needed to accompany their permit application to the PUC to move the project forward.  The power company faces an October deadline to present their application for consideration. 

In other action, the commissioners approved a contract for financing a new roof for Big Timbers Museum.  The money would come from the State Historical Fund.  Museum curator, Kathleen Scranton, outlined the funding process for the commissioners on the $41,000 project.  The county would contribute $12,356 in a cash match.  The commissioners also agreed to a request from Sage Nutrition, to double their contributions for 2012 to $10,293, based on the number of meals served in Prowers County, an average of 30,062 per year. 

A subdivision exemption for Valley Concrete and Valco, Incorporated was presented by county land use administrator, Mary Root.  The commissioners approved the request, which separates the concrete manufacturing plant from the open spaces and pits on the acreage adjacent to the Arkansas River.  Valco Incorporated has deeded that land to the city of Lamar for future development, mainly as a recreation site.  However, the concrete plant is now owned by All Rite Paving.  A request from Fred Sherwood of Lamar Community College for a rental agreement for the fairgrounds was approved.  The college hosts the annual Antelope Stampede scheduled for the end of this month.  Brandon Sherwood was approved to fill Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook’s term on the Southeastern Colorado Regional EMS and Trauma Advisory Council Executive Board, and Mark Comer was selected to replace Ty Rushton on the Prowers County Fair Board.

By Russ Baldwin


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