Updated Fire Ban Ordinance Planned for Prowers County, Alta Vista Invitation

Prowers County Courthouse


Sheriff Jim Faull, Fire Marshall for Prowers County; Staffon Warn, Rural Fire Chief; and Marshall Cook City of Lamar Fire Chief, met with the Prowers County Commissioners to review the current fire ban for the county and to make the current ordinance more clear for area residents. 

In light of the area rains this past July, Sheriff Faull suggested the fire ban be lifted, and commissioner Gene Millbrand said he felt the ban would have less impact if it were just automatically kept in place without reflecting the changes in area pasture land.  However Steffon Warn suggested holding off on taking any action right now, as some areas in Holly and an area about 10 miles south of Lamar along CR 19 are still dry. 

At present, any burns in unincorporated areas of the county still need to be called in to the dispatch center and approved while a fire ban has been posted.  That usually occurs when the National Weather Service has initiated a Red Flag Warning for an area because of winds and dry conditions.  The commissioners said they’d wait until next Thursday’s meeting to make a decision on lifting the fire ban, and suggested to the fire representatives that they meet and iron out some ordinance revisions for county attorney, John Lefferdink to review. 

According to CIRSA insurance statistics, Prowers County ranks in the top ten counties in the state for lower municipal claims and insurance payments.  Last year, the county was ninth out of 52 that issue reports in the state.  One of the criteria that keeps premiums lower is employee attendance for training sessions, and in light of a couple of fender benders over the past two years for city and county fire trucks, a class will be held on August 16 for defensive driving techniques.  Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook said most occurred when a truck was backing up.  Cook said that right now, given the tight squeeze in the department’s parking bays, someone is on lookout at the rear of the fire truck as it backs into its slot, even if the truck has only been taken out and washed. 

Alta Vista Charter School Administrator, Talara Coen invited the commissioners to the grand opening of the refurbished school on August 27.  The Prowers Journal reported earlier on the major improvements to the facility, including new classrooms, a full-sized gymnasium and other additions that expanded the new facilities to 24,000 square feet.  Coen reviewed plans on how PATS, Prowers Area Transit will serve the students for the new year.  At present, 13 students will make use of PATS, and will be transported by a district school bus to the DeWitt parking area near Big Timbers Museum, and from that point, the PATS bus will transport the students to elementary schools in the district.  The current cost is $1.50 per student per day, one way.  Coen said the school now has 135 students enrolled at Alta Vista and can accommodate 140.  Commissioner Gene Millbrand suggested no changes to the rate schedule until the end of the year, at which time, any needed changes can be made into the transportation agreement with PATS.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: CommissionerscommunityCountyFeaturedLamarPublic SafetySchoolYouth


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