Lamar Lions & PCDI Joining Forces to Help Vets/Homeless


The Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community in Las Animas will observe this September, its first anniversary of serving the homeless in the state, especially veterans who are in need and are seeking rehabilitation.  Lamar Lions President Ken Callison and Dick Ramsay approached the board members of Prowers County Development Incorporated, seeking to use a vacant portion of their East Washington Street warehouses to store donated furniture and other needed items for the Fort Lyon facility.

“There are people being dropped off who literally have no shoes,” said Ramsay as he and Callison outlined their plans to store donated items to Fort Lyon.  Ken Callison added, “You would be amazed at how helpful it can be for these people if they had some pictures to look at on their walls or even a throw rug on the floor.”  Both Lions explained what the needs are at the facility, for both men and women.  They want to use a portion of a warehouse for storage of donated items until they can transport the items to the residents.  Doug Thrall, owner/manager of the Cow Palace Inn, offered storage space at the motel’s laundry building as another drop off site.  Callison told board members, “The need is right now for the residents and we’ll do what it takes to make this work.”

Some of the suggested items run from clothing and undergarments, new or used for men and women, furniture items such as end tables, lamps, night stands or wall décor; similar items to furnish day rooms such as sectionals, sofas, chairs; some items for recreation include team sports equipment, bikes (even ones in need of repair), working televisions and any kind of assorted school supplies or materials.  “If you just got off a bus with no other belongings than your clothes, think about what you’d need for the next year to get by,” said Callison.  They said they’d also accept personal care, toiletry items as well.  They may be reached at 688-8782 for Callison and 336-9570 for Ramsay.

PCDI board members discussed some new economic developments in the county, including turning the former Alco store into a new Tractor Supply outlet.  Lance Benninghoff, PCDI executive director, said a ruling on a zone variance request for the ag oriented store will be expected next week.  There isn’t a firm date yet for a store opening, but he expects it to be sometime in the early fall.  Benninghoff said he’s also working on an economic impact analysis for the Holly Dairy Farm and is compiling some figures which he hopes will help mitigate the issues some residents are having regarding the dairy’s impact on the community.  Talk centered on adequate housing for the two dozen or so employees that will operate the dairy.  Board member, Aaron Leiker, of Holly, said to his knowledge, there may be only five to seven houses for sale in town at this point.  Granada was the next location discussed for possible housing needs with similar results for offerings.  Board members agreed that this is an on-going issue for business development in the county, not just for the proposed dairy operation.  Doug Thrall reported that the new farmer’s market that opened west of Lamar had a great weekend for customer turnout and one or two current businesses will begin using the produce from Colorado Gardens in their local operations.

In other news, the PCDI warehouse roof, damaged by strong winds several months ago, has been repaired and the long-awaited drainage pump has also been installed and performed up to expectations during the recent rains that hit Lamar.  Board members briefly discussed the CDOT renovations for Main Street, set for next year.  Members expressed concern that adequate customer parking for retail outlets during the construction work will be outlined in the plans.  Benninghoff said the work has been scheduled before and after the Christmas holidays to lessen any impact on downtown shopping.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEducationEmploymentFeaturedGranadaHealthHollyHot TopicsLamarProwers CountySchoolTransportation


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