PATS Will Roll for New Year’s Eve

Prowers Area Transit received enough local donations to defray the costs of offering free rides to local residents for the approaching New Year’s Eve celebrations.  A ‘Safe Ride with PATS’ will be available to those who reserve a ride between 7pm December 31 to 2am on January 1.  Riders who don’t want to be behind the wheel that evening should call 336-8034 prior to 5pm on December 31 to make a reservation for a pick up and delivery.


Darren Glover, PATS director, told the Prowers County Commissioners on Thursday, December 20, that enough businesses had contributed to allow for the cost of a driver and a vehicle.  They are:  Prowers Medical Center, Desiree’s Bar, Ron Farmer LLC, Prowers County District Attorney, Corner Wine and Liquor, Lamar Elks Lodge # 1319, and Peacocks Funeral Home.  Glover also provided year-to-date ridership information for PATS during the commissioner’s meeting.  He estimated the 22,736 rides provided so far in 2012 would reach the 23,000 mark by the end of the year.  Expenses for the county transportation service were listed at $221,693.97, bringing the cost per trip to $9.75 and cost per mile at $3.63.  He presented a breakdown on riders as General Public – 14,953; Handicapped Elderly – 2,918; Handicapped Public – 1,433; Elderly – 3,432; Wheelchair – 1,477 and No Shows/Cancellations – 1,299.  The majority of the rides provided were listed for Medical Visits, followed by shopping and employment/education sites.

Licenses and permits were signed by the commissioners for Lamar and Holly Ambulances with Pat Leonard, City of Lamar Deputy Fire Chief and John Sutherland, City Administrator present.  Commissioner Joe Marble extended an invitation to Sutherland to pay an informal visit to the commissioners in the future about issues where the city and county occasionally intersect.  Kent Darnell, representing MedTrans Ambulance also was present for the signing of licenses and permits for his firm’s ambulance fleet.  MedTrans has 14 employees with five fulltime in Prowers County.  The matter of vehicles also extended into the county health department.  Keith Siemsen, Environmental Health Manager said there had been no bids on a Ranger pick-up trucks the county had to sell, so apparently notices will be sent out again for an invitation to bid.  Intergovernmental service agreements between Baca, Bent and Kiowa counties and Siemsen’s department were approved for 2013. 

Subdivision exemptions were approved for properties owned by Hans and Joleyne Friederichs, Dale and Alice Schnabel with Commissioner Henry Schnabel abstaining on that vote, and for Jim and Betty Civis. 

Although Prowers County has only four test wells drilled, and those only since 2010 and 2011, the commissioners spoke with County Attorney John Lefferdink about ordinances regulating the weight of oil rig equipment on county roads and the fees that would be paid to the county by those companies using the roadways.  Weight limits are at 125,000 pounds for county roads and there was some doubt as to ordinances allowing a $125 fee per rig for driving in and out of the county, each visit.  The commissioners said they would table any action at this time, but wanted to remain consistent with other counties in southeast Colorado on their ordinances and charges.  Commissioners in Bent, Baca, Otero, Crowley and Kiowa counties will be contacted to see how closely their regulations match those for Prowers County.  The next commissioner’s meeting will be held Thursday, December 27.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCityCommissionersCountyEconomyEnergyFeaturedProwers CountyPublic SafetyTransportationUtilities


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