The Granada Trustees were briefed on the approaching PUMA economic study by the Prowers County Commissioners as well as Rick Robbins, President of Prowers County Development Incorporated and board member Cindy Otto. PUMA, Progressive Urban Management Associates, will visit towns in Prowers County on February 29th and March 1st, and speak with key community members, to receive a first-hand look at the County and conduct an initial study for potential job growth and economic development. The study, which will take close to a year, will cost $50,000 and member communities are being asked to contribute what they are able to, to help finance the project. The cost of the project will be paid for through the County, the City of Lamar and PCDI; however contributions from the county townships have been sought.
Commissioner Wendy Buxton-Andrade said, “This will be a way to help remove roadblocks to our local economic development. The PUMA group will create a map of where we need to go and the steps to follow to accomplish some concrete goals.” Commissioner Schnabel added that this will be a community cooperative effort, providing a fresh look at our problems and some new ideas for solutions can be generated. He said Granada’s input will be necessary to get a comprehensive view of the entire county. Commissioner Chairman, Ron Cook, explained that the study is going to be put to use, “This won’t just sit on the shelf once the study is finished. This will be one of the more positive projects we’ve seen in the past few years.” He added, that the third and final phase will focus on the nature of PCDI, if there’s a need for an executive director, and if so, what type of goals and skills the future hire should be able to bring to the organization and the community.
Dana and Natalie Musick discussed the need for trained fire department volunteers. Both are permanent volunteers, but have expressed a need to have additional members who are willing to spend the time to receive training from the Prowers County Fire Department. Dana Musick said that should be a condition of volunteer membership instead of just showing up at a local fire with the expectation of operating equipment. He also asked if bringing in a set of junior or younger fire department volunteers would cause the town’s insurance rates to be adjusted for extended coverage. The Trustees said they would find out and the volunteer department could take action for volunteers if there was any change. Musick suggested that the situation be developed and the need for volunteers be included in future utility bills to local customers.
Trustee Andi Riddle displayed a street sign created by the Granada High School Ag Department. The trustees had discussed the possibility of having the department create them for the city. The board was impressed with the results that were displayed at the monthly meeting. Riddle remarked that approximately 65 street signs could be produced from one sheet of metal and the city could have signs made for about $300. Trustee Deb Choat favored the idea, adding that if the students make the signs there may be fewer instances of them being used for target practice around town. The Trustees voted in favor of seeing the project through.
Atmos Energy, the natural gas supplier for Granada, was given a 20 year franchise contract with the community, an extended version compared to earlier agreements. Town Clerk, Jackie Malone, explained that the town will continue to receive a 5% franchise fee of gas sold through the year, and it will be adjustable to reflect any future price increases. The town earns about $4,993 each year from the fee, paid in four quarters. The franchise agreement had no effect on current natural gas rates. An ordinance on the change will be read next month and the agreement will go into effect in April.
There was a brief discussion and general agreement by the Trustees to amend the municipal employee pay dates. Salaries will still be paid every two weeks, but if a pay day falls on a weekend or on a holiday, the pay date will be moved up to the Friday prior to that day.
Granada won’t have an ordinance to regulate ownership or kennels for pit bulls because that legislative move is allowed only in home-rule municipalities. Granada is a statutory township and the ordinance can’t be created to be specific only to that breed of dog. Police Chief David Dougherty explained that he could create an ordinance for all types of problem dogs which would have to be kept in a store-bought kennel to ensure a safe environment for a neighborhood. That opened up a brief discussion on the cost and nature of the type of kennels that would be required. The discussion ended with no action taken at this time.
Jean Bezona, Chris Choat and Natatlie Musick may continue their membership for a new term on the VALE board. The approval of their intention to serve another term was carried over from last month’s meeting. In other action, the Trustees approved the annual March Easter egg hunt on the 20th at the park at 2pm. The Complex will be rented out on February 16th and 17th for two different events, and long-range on May 28th and November 12 & 13th.
By Russ Baldwin
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