New Signage for Prowers County, Commodity Distributions Going Monthly in 2014

Prowers County Courthouse

Prowers County Courthouse

Pat Palmer and Brad Semmens, board members of the Prowers County Lodging Tax Panel, met with the County Commissioners for permission to mount an LED sign owned by Semmens on the courthouse lawn.  The sign would be used to promote various, non-commercial activities in the county through the year. 

“Ever since PCDI moved its headquarters from their corner office downtown, people have remarked they haven’t been able to stay up to date on county activities they way they used too,” explained Palmer.  Before the move, office manager, Carla Scranton could be seen several times a week updating the floor to ceiling wall in the front window with current information about county activities.  The updates were highly visible along Main Street in Lamar and many residents say they’ve noted the absence for staying up to date on local events. 

Members of the Lodging Panel board discussed those concerns during one of their monthly meetings, during which Semmens said he had an unused sign that he could donate and the issue followed on where best to relocate the sign that measures six feet long by two feet tall.  Semmens said his sign uses two lines of information, but it only has one usable side, unlike the sign used by the Lamar Chamber of Commerce.  Kirk Powers, County Building Operations Supervisor, attended the meeting and said he would look it over to determine how it would run power from inside the courthouse and where to install the control computer.  The sign requires a base and a couple of yards of concrete will be needed for that project.  No exact date for installation has been set. 

Darren Glover, Community Resource Director told the commissioners the state is moving from a quarterly distribution of food commodities to various counties to a monthly schedule and some changes will be needed to accommodate the change.  The discussion was a review of the change from earlier this fall.  Lamar, Wiley, Granada and Holly will receive the monthly commodities in the near future instead of them being sent to the SOS Center for quarterly distribution.  In anticipation of the change, the commissioners authorized the purchase of three upright freezers for each of the communities to hold the frozen foods until they were distributed to local residents.  Commissioner Marble said some volunteers would be needed to assist the senior citizens at the Center who had been moving the commodities into storage.  “The average age of those persons working on that line is about 75 to 80, and I think I’m the youngest out there,” said Marble.  The new distribution schedule will be posted at a later date. 

John Marrin, Lamar Community College President, who was presenting an update on LCC for the commissioners, said he would talk to the student government to see if some students would be available to volunteer to assist that one day out of each month.  Marrin said the new semester spring would begin on January 13, 2014 as the campus is now closed for the holidays.  “We’re starting the semester with steady enrollment for 2014,” he explained.  The college is anticipating the enrollment will increase as plans are being developed to construct housing pods which will accommodate about 24 students per pod on campus.  Marrin explained that financing for them is the first big step and various donations will be a part of those plans.  “We expect to have some news on funding in either January or February,” he stated.  Part of the college’s T3 grant will be used to update equipment in the school’s welding course.  Marrin said the college recently was awarded a million dollar grant over three years to be devoted to training in various aspects of manufacturing.  He mentioned he was sorry to hear that the WPA buildings on East Maple Street had recently been defaced with graffiti.  “I understand that it was a chalk material that was used, so we hope we can have that cleaned before it could settle in to the masonry,” Marrin said.  The person responsible for ‘tagging’ the property has been charged by the Lamar Police Department.  In other action, the liquor/beer license for the Ports to Plains Travel Plaza was renewed.  It was also noted that PCDI, Prowers County Development Incorporated, would be sending a monthly status report to the Prowers County Commissioners.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCollegeCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEducationEmploymentFeaturedLamarLaw EnforcementProwers County


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