Full Agenda for Prowers County Commissioners

Prowers County Courthouse

The Prowers County Commissioners cleared a full agenda Thursday, January 19, ranging from such items as approving fair board appointments and rodeo schedules, to reviewing procedures employed for dumping of fly ash, approving several medical, transportation and emergency response grants, considering a proposal for a showcase courthouse clock and an introduction to Jennifer Wells, the CSU Extension Area Director.

A public hearing was held for discussion of a three year Community Services Block Grant with Darren Glover, Lamar Community Resource & Senior Center/PATS operations director. Glover provided a financial breakdown of the services the $116,726.14 grant would provide through 2015. $51,460 would purchase vaccines for low income county residents and $65,266.14 would be applied to salaries for a PATS driver, administrative assistant and custodial services at the Senior Center.

Lorraine Woolley, Prowers County Treasurer, presented figures showing $14,225 had been received in the Public Trustees Report of Fees Earned for the last quarter of 2011, as well as a list of Tax Lien Sale Certificates issued and held in the name of Prowers County. A resolution transferring $22,500 in revenue between the Road & Bridge fund and General fund was approved.

Ken Brooks, representing the Lamar Elks Lodge, told the commissioners he has now rescheduled the annual Little Britches Rodeo this year to May 5-6, avoiding an earlier scheduling conflict for use of the fairgrounds the following week. The commissioners also approved use of the fairgrounds for two other rodeo events as outlined by Cade Spitz. One is for May 11-13 for the Colorado Junior Rodeo Association and the other is for the weekend of May 18-21 for the Southeast Colorado High School All Stars Rodeo competition.

A review of the intergovernmental agreement among the county, City of Lamar, ARPA and Lamar Utilities Board was discussed. County resident Cathy Tintinger had asked at an earlier commissioners meeting, if all the provisions of the IGA, regulating dumping of fly ash residue at the East Lamar landfill had been followed since the agreement was made in September, 2010. Keith Siemsen, Environmental Health Manager for the County, reviewed the pertinent paragraphs of the IGA, stating that essentially they had. He recapped the fact that the Repowering Project had been out of commission for almost all of 2011 and had not produced any fly ash that went into the landfill. The IGA was to be followed only in the event that fly ash could not be hauled away by McDonald Farms in Longmont under a contract agreement initiated by the light plant and ARPA. The meeting was also attended by Rick Rigel, General Manager of ARPA, Houssin Hourieh, interim Light Plant Superintendent and Virgil Cochran who oversees environmental safeguards at the plant. Cochran informed the gathering that although the plant has archived fly ash residue for testing purposes, the plant boiler has not been run long enough in the past year to produce fly ash that the state health department would use for environmental testing. Fly ash had been put into the landfill prior to the 2010 IGA with Tinitinger providing an email to this reporter, indicating that at least five loads had been dumped as of July 2009. Siemsen said he would begin to include landfill updates in the quarterly county health reports issued to the Commissioners as well as an annual formal report.

Staffon Warn, County Emergency Operations Manager reviewed the financing for the 2012 Emergency Management Performance Grant which totals $20,546. The commissioners also met with Lamar Fire Chief Marshall Cook who reviewed the 2012 Prowers County Emergency Medical and Trauma Systems Plan. That operates on an annual $15,000 RETAC grant divided between Lamar and Holly, essentially for ambulance services. Cook said the money is also used for recruitment of EMS volunteers and equipment and educational classes. He noted that the current EMS classes at Lamar Community College have 15 students enrolled for the semester.

Five persons were re-appointed to the Sand and Sage Fair Board: Mark Dorenkamp, Toni McPherson, Mark Carrigan, Scott Brase and Cindy Bennett.

Wilma Trujillo, CSU Extension Southeast Area Agronomist, presented her quarterly report to the commissioners and introduced them to Jennifer Wells, the CSU Extension Area Director who has transferred to the Rocky Ford area from Montana for her new position. The Eighth Annual Arkansas Valley Farm/Ranch/Water Symposium and Trade Show will be held in Rocky Ford on Thursday, February 2. The State Veterinary’s office will also make a presentation.

Trujillo asked the commissioners to sign a letter of support against the ban of Rozol, a type of prairie dog bait, which has been restricted in four southwestern states. The commissioners are also drafting a letter asking that Prowers or another southeast Colorado county be considered as a site for a mobile slaughterhouse. The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is supporting Fowler as the location for the operation, but the commissioners believed it would be better situated in this region as La Junta already has a commercial processing business.

The commissioners also met with Ron Carr who is proposing the county purchase a Verdin Street Clock for the courthouse lawn, or another location. A basic, two-faced clock costs $8,000 and a four-faced model, with extras, could run as much as $30,000. Carr said the purchase could be funded through donations, or perhaps a joint venture with the city and the county. The commissioners asked for a pricelist and said, given their tight 2012 budget, give some thought to the venture.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCommissionersCountyEconomyEducationGranadaHollyLamar


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