Commissioners Review Anti-Marijuana Ordinance, Disposal of E-waste and Valco Pond

Court-House-Windmill-2The Prowers County Commissioners covered several agenda items during their meeting this past Thursday, May 16.  John Sutherland and Pat Mason from the City of Lamar discussed initiating written messages or emails between the city and county when materials or equipment is loaned.  “I know we’ve had a good relationship in the past among departments when staff would loan out a truck or some materials would be moved for each other, but we’ve also been surprised in the past,” said Commissioner Joe Marble, “and we’d like to have some better record keeping between the county and the city.”  Sutherland, City Administrator and Public Works Director, Pat Mason, agreed saying either emails or a written request would be a simple and easy matter for both parties.  Mason said a case in point was the city’s need for a water tanker from the county, as a liner is being installed at the landfill, and a quantity of water will be needed for the project.  Future agreements will be written so all departments are kept informed. 

Now that the City of Lamar has taken possession of Valco Ponds, how the acquisition of the 108 acres of land adjacent to the Arkansas River affects the county was briefly discussed.  Commissioner Marble said the last information on the city’s plans came from a meeting with former councilman Jim Larrick last year.  Sutherland said that since he wasn’t administrator when the project was initiated, he’s coming up to speed on all the aspects and would welcome an information sharing meeting between the city and county. 

The city and county discussed how to best deal with a growing need to properly dispose of E-waste.  The state has set plans in motion for isolated disposal methods for cell phones, video screen, computers, televisions and other electronic gear that has grown in use over the past twenty years.  Some of the materials can be toxic and can pollute the land and water table, while some equipment uses precious metals which can be retrieved, recycled or sold.  Communities that conduct two collection/recycle events a year can opt out of the state mandate.  Sutherland said it would make sense if the communities in the county shared the costs and benefits for recycling.  He estimated a collection day would be around $7,000 and has been searching for “Keep America Beautiful” grants to defray costs.  The commissioners said they’d consider the options and have a future discussion with the city. 

The state voted for legalized marijuana last November with passage of amendment 64, but the county doesn’t want it. Based on results of local elections, with almost 60% of County voters opposed, the commissioners have requested county attorney, John Lefferdink to script an ordinance banning possession or consumption of marijuana on county property. Medical marijuana usage is allowed in Colorado for those who have been issued certification cards.  Counties have until October to take action on the drugs prohibition.  Lefferdink said the sheriff and district attorney will be asked for their insights for inclusion into the ordinance.  The public will be allowed an opportunity to comment on the ordinance at a future commissioner’s meeting. 

From drugs to guns.  Sheriff Jim Faull informed the commissioners that he is one of 54 sheriffs in the state taking part in bringing a lawsuit against the legislature.  Faull said the suit will attempt to overturn the recent state approved legislation regarding registration of weapons and limitations placed on the capacity of magazines.  The sheriffs and other entities, such as Magpole, which manufactures 30 round magazines, have employed six attorneys to present their case in Federal District Court in Colorado.  They believe the state is misinterpreting the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court several years ago.  Faull said since the New Year, the number of requests for concealed carry permits have, “gone through the roof” which has also added to his department’s revenue.  The cost for a five year permit application is around $150.  A training course and background check is required for the concealed carry permit. 

John Marrin, President of Lamar Community College, and Cheryl Sanchez, VP for Academic and Support Services, provided an update of college activities and noted that the history based Encampment, held every two years in October, will return to the campus this fall.  Marrin said the scheduled dates are October 4-5, with the possibility of a special meal prepared for visiting academics by the Dutch Oven Cookers on October 3.  Regarding E-waste disposal, Sanchez remarked it would be a good idea to include area high schools which are updating their equipment, as well as have the college take part in a recycling effort.  Marrin said LCC plans to offer additional online training for the Microsoft IT Academy, allowing for a more open schedule for older participants, coupled with a lower tuition fee.  Another new online course of study will focus on the heritage construction program at the school.

Relatives and Associates accepting the Award for Jim Peterson

Relatives and Associates accepting the Award for Jim Peterson

Mary Root, Wendy Buxton-Andrade, Joe Marble, Joan Peterson, Lori Peterson-Payne, Henry Schnabel, Ken Ullom, Jim Harper (Past Planning Commission Members) and Richard Widener (Planning Commission Chairman)

Twenty-seven years of service to the county were noted with a special presentation made to the family of Jim Peterson.  Peterson had served on the Prowers County Planning Commission board for almost three decades.  The commissioners presented a special plaque in his honor to his wife and family. 

The commissioners remarked on the need to begin advertising for a replacement for Linda Fairbairn who will step down as the Director of Social Services for Prowers County.  Fairbairn sent a letter to the commissioners announcing her intention to retire from her long-held position.  She will end her employment on December 31, of this year.  There had been tentative discussion of combining her seat with that of the Director for County Health several months ago, but the commissioners said the idea has been discontinued.  An amended subdivision request for James Habutzel as presented by Mary Root, Land Use Administrator was approved and action on the Spady/Prowers County financial settlement was tabled.

The commissioners may get a seat at the ARPA table to discuss electric rates, bonding covenants and ownership and responsibility for the Repowering Project.  The Arkansas River Power Authority meets each month in a member community and will be in Springfield on May 30.  The commissioners and some community businesspeople, customers of Lamar Light and Power, have been requesting they be included on the ARPA agenda for an opportunity to gain information to their inquiries.  The commissioners said they have not been notified officially at this time, but will make the meeting when they have received confirmtion.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCollegeCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEducationEnergyFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementProwers CountyPublic SafetySchoolUtilities


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.