New Website Developing for PCDI

Final changes are underway for the new website for PCDI, Prowers County Development Incorporated.  Executive Director, Lisa Nolder, informed the board during their monthly meeting Tuesday, September 27, that the improved site will be online for users by next week with necessary updates.  Administrative Assistant Carla Scranton said a new software package will now allow the site to be updated locally, instead of making changes through a webmaster.  Users can access the website at 

The Big R warehouse property is still a financial concern to board members.  A Request for Proposal offer from PCDI to Front Range realtors brought few responses for interest in carrying the property as an exclusive listing to metro buyers.  The warehouse and office building was donated to PCDI by Big R two years ago as an investment or incentive property.  The PCDI marketing committee recently laid out a cost analysis for general upkeep of the warehouses and offices, and has taken some cost-cutting measures for utilities at the Washington Street site.  One local realtor may make a bid to PCDI for the rights to an exclusive listing in the area.  Skip Ruedeman, a member of the Lamar Redevelopment Authority said his board can bide its time if PCDI wanted to have the properties annexed into the Urban Renewal Area, but thought that with another property being annexed in, both parcels could be done at one time.   Prowers County Commissioner, Gene Millbrand, speaking on behalf of the county, said the commissioners were opposed to the property being listed in the Urban Renewal area.  Executive Director Lisa Nolder remarked that she is in discussions with a renewable energy business for use of the Big R site, but stressed that it would be to the area’s advantage to have the property used as a small turbine assembly site, instead of a distribution center for the company.  More jobs could be developed in an assembly capacity. 

Cathy Buxton, PCDI President, charged the board members with seeking out ideas for high-usage, water development projects for the county.  In light of GP Farms’ on-going proposal to take several thousand acre feet of water out of the county for non-agricultural purposes, a suggestion was made at an earlier meeting to try to develop ideas about businesses that need a large amount of water, and how such enterprises could be located in Prowers County for job creation.    

Nolder reported her area counterparts in southeast Colorado are compiling a comparison of costs involved with developing a business in Prowers County, as opposed to other locations in the state.  She said this was an outgrowth of another study that showed businesses from surrounding states, moving to Kansas because of the low cost advantages and general lack of red tape at the state level.  She said a comparable study showed how inexpensive it would be to start a medium to large scale business in this region compared to the Front Range or other metro areas.  She also noted that in today’s economy, the ‘quality of life’ factor that had applied in job location had diminished in priority.  “Now,” she said, “businesses and employees are going where the jobs are.  A mountain view lifestyle is less important today than it was a couple of years ago for attracting jobs or businesses.”   Nolder also said an Economic Development Resource Guide will be made available to those seeking guidance on developing a local business.  The guide will provide a description of agencies directly involved with helping establish or regulating a proposed business.  There was also discussion of posting the guide online with the PCDI website and making hard copies available at area offices such as the Chamber of Commerce or SECED.

By Russ Baldwin


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