Prowers County Commissioners Discuss LCC’s New Semester, Valco Pond Funding and Sage Nutrition Financing

Lamar Community College is preparing for its fall semester.  LCC President John Marrin and Recruitment Director Brenda Brown, briefed the Prowers County Commissioners on campus activities during a monthly update, Thursday, July 19. 

Marrin said some administrative changes have occurred with Jenna Johnson replacing Anne Marie Crampton in the college’s marketing department, while Crampton will assume more duties aligned with LCC’s Foundation operation.  Brown said the college is offering two orientations for students for fall; one will be held July 23 and the other is set for August 17.  Students can enroll on either date if they wish and the first full day of classes will start on Monday, August 20.  Brown gave a rough estimate of how many local high school graduates have signed up for freshman classes for the fall.  She said there were approximately 181 seniors from southeast Colorado and of those, 77 have signed up with Lamar Community College.

Side View of WPA Building

Marrin said that although the search continues for a director of the Building Trades and Historic Preservation department, work will begin on the WPA buildings on East Maple Street in the fall, using mainly adjunct instructors.  “The welding program is still very healthy,” he told the commissioners, with about 20 students now taking the courses. 

In other action, the commissioners approved a letter of support for the City of Lamar regarding a proposed Master Plan for use of the Valco Pond Park and Recreation Site south of the Arkansas River.  The commissioners discussed allocating $5,000 in next year’s budget to assist in the costs of developing a Master Plan.  The commissioners approved a Final Acceptance Certification from CDOT for the Big Timbers Transportation Museum Project.  Several weeks ago, the new roof, construction project for the regular museum was completed. 

Commissioner Millbrand informed the audience and other commissioners that the Sage Nutrition program is seeing healthier financial numbers.  The program, which provides nutritional meals for the region’s elderly, finished 2011 $45,000 in the red.  To date, he said, the program is realizing a $22,000 surplus through adjusted figures.  He added that even with that positive news, the governing board is not ready to ease some of the operating restrictions that were enacted last year to help the meal program become solvent.  “Contributions are still costing us in funding,” he said.  Millbrand explained that a meal costs $7 on average to prepare and serve, combining delivered and on-site meals.  The Sage program cannot ask patrons to pay for their meals and the suggested cost for those who are willing to do so is about $3.50.  “On average, we’re seeing about a $1.51 return on each meal with some towns contributing as much as $2.81 per meal and some as low as $0.36 a meal,” he added.  Prowers County’s average is $1.53.

By Russ Baldwin


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