Congressman Gardner Meets with Lamar Council


U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner Meeting with Lamar City Council & Dept. Heads

Touching upon such subjects as Wind Production Tax Credit, the Arkansas Valley Conduit, agricultural growth in Colorado, the national budget and EPA restrictions, U.S. Fourth Congressional District Congressman, Cory Gardner, met with the Lamar City Council and department heads this past Friday, October 5.  

Gardner was touring a portion of his district in southeast Colorado and attended the candidate’s forum portion of the annual Senior Speak Out held at the Rodeway Inn Cow Palace.  He also spend time touring Dragon Enterprises in Lamar. 

Gardner told the council that the current district he serves will increase in size following the general election.  In January, he said, “The new district will no longer have any of Larimer County.  It will have all of Weld County, the eastern half of Adams and Arapaho Counties up to DIA and C470 and most of Douglas County, except for Highlands Ranch.”  He added that the change will also now include all of Otero and Las Animas Counties, which brings Trinidad into the 4th Congressional District.  “The 4th Congressional District right now is the 11th largest agricultural district out of the 435 districts in Congress.  So agriculture will remain very important to me,” Gardner added. 

Gardner spoke about the impacts of transportation, water and basic infrastructure will play in southeast Colorado, adding that the two year transportation bill signed by congress will help streamline construction with the elimination of costly duplicate reporting to the EPA while providing funding for regional mini-programs. 

The congressman described the Water Act pending before congress which allows mutual ditch companies to keep portions of their revenues that would have violated the non-profit status.  The revenues can be used to improve the infrastructure of the mutual ditch irrigation companies.  On the Wind Production Tax Credit, Gardner said he is in favor of extending the credit, but take steps to ‘ramp it down’ so that it goes away over a certain portion of time.  He said negotiations on that future matter will be to find the appropriate time to phase the credit out of use. 

Gardner mentioned oil and gas drilling interests in Colorado, particularly along the Front Range.  He recognized that interest in southeast Colorado over the past year could help to spur local job growth in the area while contributing to less dependence on foreign oil providers.  The congressman mentioned his familiarity with the levee improvement situation in Lamar, as that has been a topic he’s covered with his district representative, Doris Morgan.  The cost to Lamar is a minimum of $300,000 for levee improvements and unless they are completed, hundreds of residents will need to purchase flood insurance for their homes, while the expanded flood plain could also impact business growth in the community.  Other topics of discussion included methamphetamine drugs coming up the highways from Mexico and the need for better border protection.  Lamar Police Chief McCrea said while there is some meth use in the county, the main drug of local choice remains cocaine.  McCrea said the manufacture takes place outside the community, but also is a drug that crosses the border.  Gardner told the council he’s been talking with the CEO of the BNSF rail line regarding a proposed route change for the Super Chief which would eliminate some jobs and decrease tourism interests throughout southeast Colorado.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: AgricultureBusinesscommunityEconomyEmploymentEnergyFeaturedLamarPoliticsPublic SafetyTransportationUtilities


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