Dollar and Cents Discussion at PCDI Board Meeting

Prowers County Development Incorporated board members are discussing a means of maintaining their funding sources for the next several years.  The economic development group, like 95% of other similar organizations across the state, receives their operating funds from government sources.  For PCDI, that’s the county and the city of Lamar.  Each contributes $50,000 a year for the operation, and other outside sources have contributed a  lesser amount.  Community partnership contributions are not close to the budgeted figure for the 2011 year. 

Prowers County Commissioner Gene Millbrand stated that the county is on board for their share of funding for 2012, but some members expressed concern that some members of the city council may reconsider funding PCDI when their 2012 budget talks start next month.  PCDI executive director Lisa Nolder said she’s realistic over the fact that not every other town in the county has the funds to contribute on a sustained basis.  To date, Wiley, Granada and Holly have not made a contribution this year.  Millbrand said that when a community has to deliberate about spending money for a fax cartridge, you realize that finances are tight.  He added that in today’s economic climate, financial success stories are about being able to maintain a status quo.  Nolder said the board needs to develop a strategy for what may occur if the city decides to discontinue their annual share of funding.  She said a meeting with some PCDI board members and Mayor Roger Stagner and City Administrator Bill Pfeilsticker would be the most logical place to start. 

Nolder said she’s hampered about discussing PCDI’s merits for economic development because most businesses expect complete confidentiality when discussing their finances and future business plans.  She urged the board to make the extra effort to stay abreast of PCDI’s past accomplishments and refer to them when explaining how the agency benefits the county.  Board President, Cathy Buxton, echoed that sentiment, saying, “We all need to be on board, and be there to represent PCDI and Lisa at various local meetings.”  Nolder’s activity outline for July and August indicated she has been in contact with a small wind manufacturing plant, filled out several requests for information regarding the Washington Street property, participated in expansion plans for a Holly greenhouse, worked on an incentive package for the new Cow Palace Inn owners, discussed a site with a Boulder firm for a plastic recycling plant and aggregate manufacture, discussed expansion plans for another Holly business, met with representatives from local feedyards and a biofuel company looking to expand to the Arkansas Valley, met with local land owners regarding development of a privately funded equine center, attended the GP water discussions hosted by Karl Nyquist in Lamar and met with the new state director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. 

How to best sell the Washington Street property, the former Big R offices and warehouse was also discussed.  The property had been listed locally at first, but was recently put on Craigslist for Colorado.  PCDI had $35,100 in the spring of 2010 to maintain the property, but has had to use those funds to maintain liability insurance, office maintenance , city and natural gas utilities as well as marketing the property, equipment upkeep and grounds maintenance.  PCDI vice president Mike Bryant gave the board a calendar projection of when the funds would be depleted, even with some overhead cutbacks that would be instituted this September.  Bryant said he’s looking at a proposal for an exclusive listing on the property along the Front Range as little local interest has been developed for the site. 

The new PCDI website will be off line for about a week, according to board secretary, Carla Scranton.  “We’re discussing the latest changes with the web designer and moving over to a new system that allows us to make changes and updates locally,” she explained.  Board member Marsha Willhite said there were some community oriented statistics that needed updating as well.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: BusinessCitycommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarWiley


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