Electric powered car owners will be able to charge up in Lamar in the near future, according to Stephanie Gonzales, Executive Director of SECED, Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development. She told the Prowers County Commissioners recently, a grant application to Colorado Charge Ahead from November has been approved. “We don’t have any charge units for electric powered vehicles coming through our area, so I applied for dual charge units that let two cars charge up at the same time,” she explained. Gonzales said they will be located in Springfield, Las Animas, Eads, Lamar and Ordway, adding that Lamar’s will be located at the Welcome Center, probably by May.
“The State has referred to us in the past as the ‘final frontier’ because there are so few areas to charge up a vehicle,” she said. Gonzales said the design will allow for universal usage and will not be limited to just one brand of vehicle. The SECED director said the units will have internet capabilities so she won’t have to make constant visits to each unit in southeast Colorado, but she does plan on periodic site visits. She estimated that, depending on the type of vehicle that uses them, it would take between two to four hours for a complete charge. “This works out that motorists will have the opportunity to spend some time in each of the communities and get to know about life in Lamar or wherever they use them,” she explained.
On other matters, Gonzales told the Commissioners that housing is still an important issue for southeast Colorado and she has approached the Division of Housing to conduct some affordable housing clinics for each county. “We want to provide a potential owner with as much information as possible, especially for funding,” she stated. SECED will also host several informational meetings this year on homeownership counseling for first time home buyers and she hopes to have them available by the middle of the year.
Several counties in this region will host several Southern Colorado Economic Development District (SCEDD) meetings. They will begin in April and should be completed by the end of December and the results will be submitted to the Economic Development Authority. Gonzales she has also set up a schedule for herself for all the towns in each of the five counties SECED services, to explain what the visits want to accomplish. “They’ll become aware of the meetings and why it’s important to have local participation. They want to have as many people involved in these meetings as possible,” she added.
By Russ Baldwin
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