New PCDI Executive Director Begins Duties, Board Reviews 2014 Budget

PCDI Board Members

PCDI Board Members, Benninghoff at Far Left, Larry Lusher, Joe Marble, Lawrence Brase, Rick Robbins, Marsha Willhite, John Marrin in foreground.

PCDI board members discussed plans for the approaching New Year during their regular monthly meeting, Tuesday, September 24.  Members also officially welcomed Lance Benninghoff, as the new Prowers County Development Incorporated executive director in his first full board meeting. 

Some of the plans discussed included improving the drainage situation for the portion of the Washington Street property which abuts the Lamar Canal.  A portion of the parking area is prone to flooding during heavy rains and a pump will be installed by the city later this fall to provide a drier area.  Board member, Joe Marble, said the county could also help on the project if needed.  The board reviewed the proposed 2014 budget and set a date for a work session to highlight areas of concern.  One item earmarked for discussion are the fees paid to the county for administration of various payroll expenses.   

Although no date was set for a second PCDI golf tournament and a business seminar, members felt they had made a good start and would work to bring new participants to the seminar next year.  “The seminars provided a value to the community,” offered board president, Marsha Willhite.  Lawrence Brase said the board will have more time next year to meet individually with businesses in the county and offer an invitation to them to attend either the seminar or both the tournament and the business sessions.  John Marrin, Lamar Community College President, said the college would lend support to next year’s seminars and suggested that students taking business classes from area high schools could also play a role in the seminars.   

The cost of a new laptop computer was discussed.  One Dell model retails for $900 and is equipped with numerous business oriented software features, plus it carries a lifetime antivirus package.  It was found that this price is only a few dollars off what would be available through a purchase using county or city suppliers.  Director Benninghoff said he’d look at some other options, but was authorized by the board to purchase a unit up to and not to exceed the $900 price.  Benninghoff asked if he could attend an upcoming CEDC, Colorado Economic Development Council meeting scheduled for the near future in Denver.  Former director, Lisa Nolder, had belonged to the council.  Benninghoff said he was also invited to join the local Rotary group as well the Lamar Chamber Honkers.  He did not commit to either, but said he would make sure his time was properly allocated between work and social organizations.  He added that he intends to focus on some agricultural aspects of business and job development in the county and would begin an outreach program for future community partner memberships.  The board also discussed having Benninghoff serve in the seat on Lamar Partnerships Incorporated, left vacant with the resignation of Lisa Nolder.  The next PCDI board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCityCollegeCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarProwers CountySchoolWiley


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