Commissioners Discuss Road Closing Protocols, ADA Restroom Compliance


Lamar Ambulance on Highway 287/385 in November Dust Storm

Captain Lawrence Hilton of the Colorado State Patrol and Troop 2C in southeast Colorado paid a courtesy call on the commissioners.  The commissioners took the opportunity to ask what state department had the authority to close the highways into the county when weather conditions made for unsafe travel.  Hilton replied that to his knowledge, CDOT, the Colorado Department of Transportation makes that call, based on recommendations from their regional representatives.  The commissioners have the authority to close county roads, but not the state highway systems.  They said that there have been occasions when the order was given, but sometimes after the fact.  Two dust storms since last November caused Highway 287/385 to shut down because of limited visibility which contributed to one highway accident with injuries in November of last year.  Commissioner Marble suggested a meeting among law officials, CDOT and the county regarding what criteria can cause the highways to be closed and who makes those calls or recommendations.  Captain Hilton said the CSP can close a stretch of highway when an investigation for an accident or criminal event is underway. 

Prowers County will investigate the cost of bringing the county courthouse restrooms into ADA compliance.  Commissioner Joe Marble spoke with Kirk Powers, Building Operations Supervisor, to see what the cost would be.  The restroom facilities on the second floor are perhaps the most used and are not equipped for handicapped accessibility or for citizens who may require simple hand hold devices.  The commissioners are also planning an annual tour of the fairgrounds prior to the spring and summer seasons.

Southeastern Development Services is holding their annual Awareness Day, Thursday, March 28 from 1pm to 3pm for the general public.  David Harbour, Adult Services Director for SDS presented the commissioners with an honorary proclamation regarding Awareness Day and the roles SDS performs in the community.  In his brief presentation, Harbor said SDS employs 60 full and part time persons in the county, and he cautioned the organization will see some financial restraints begin next October when the new healthcare guidelines are adopted nationally.  He said payroll taxes and insurance coverages will be modified for the employees during which they will need to begin to contribute to their insurance coverage from their salaries.  Harbour told the commissioners, the proceeds from Walter’s Cans continues to fund SDS client activities and an annual scholarship award in his name will be presented again this spring. 

Craig Loveless, Prowers Medical Center Chief Executive Officer, was on hand for a quarterly update on hospital activities.  Loveless said a new general surgeon, Dr. Jim Smith, has been hired.  Smith was previously from southeastern Colorado and Loveless said he hopes he’ll become a longtime member of the hospital staff.  He’s expected to start his employment at the end of May.  It was noted that the Wiley Clinic, administered by Weisbrod Hospital in Kiowa County will close on April 5.  Loveless said PMC had noted the closing announcement, but decided it would not be economically feasible to have PMC operate the facility.  Loveless also noted that PMC and High Plains Community Health Center would hold a joint board of director meeting on April 11. 

In other action, the commissioners approved Janell Martin, Lamar High School teacher, as the newest member of the Prowers County Fair Board for a vacated position expiring February 2015.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: CommissionerscommunityCountyFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementProwers CountyPublic SafetyTransportation


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