Commissioners Okay School Transport Funds, Discuss Ceiling Repairs at Courthouse


With a new school year nearing, the Prowers County Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding for transportation services from PATS for Alta Vista Charter School.  The annual agreement spells out the costs of transporting a minimum of eleven students through the school year.  “Because we’re planning to sell two 15-passenger buses, we’re going to use a twelve passenger vehicle for the Alta Vista route,” Glover explained.  The PATS Operations Director said the fees are based on the average costs from the previous year and would be $2,970 for eleven students or $3,240 for twelve riders from the beginning to the end of the 2014/2015 Alta Vista school year.

Court House Ceiling (1)

An art restoration professional will be contacted for a one day visit to the Prowers County Courthouse courtroom to assess the water damage done to the courtroom ceiling.  Kirk Powers, Building Operations Supervisor, said the water damage probably occurred after the new roof was installed in 2006.  “I’ve been up there and haven’t found any new leakage from the roof to the attic,” he said.  A ventilation grill was installed in the ceiling some time ago and apparently a resulting moisture build-up caused some of the paint and artwork to begin flaking and some plaster has also fallen.

“We’re also looking at some streaking that has developed from accumulated smoke from the past 85 years,” he explained, referring to the time before a smoking ban existed throughout the courthouse.  The county commissioners signed off on the $300 fee for the one day visit, but were concerned about the costs of restoring the ceiling and artwork to its original status.  Cost estimates ranged into the tens of thousands of dollars.  Powers said he would explore some available grants for this type of historical restoration projects.  The commissioners said some type of schedule would also be needed to work around the courtroom schedule for what might be a lengthy project.

Trailer House on South 11th Street

Trailer House on South 11th Street

The commissioners are taking steps to ensure that the county isn’t given title to any derelict or abandoned or unclaimed mobile trailers.  Citing prohibitive costs for proper disposal, especially for any asbestos abatement, county commissioner Joe Marble stated that the county can’t assume the financial burden associated with deeds or titles for any abandoned properties of this nature.  Operations Supervisor Powers said he would explore the costs associated with having a county employee take the training needed to follow asbestos disposal guidelines.  State inspections, fees, transportation and disposal for a single unit containing asbestos can run upwards of several thousands of dollars.

Lamar VFW Post

Lamar VFW Post

The commissioners approved the liquor license renewal for the VFW Post #3621 on South Memorial Drive.  Two underground and utility permits were approved for Atmos Energy and Marilyn Owen.  The commissioners approved seven requests to the County Treasurer for the Issuance of a Tax Deed.  A letter to Lamar City Administrator John Sutherland was approved regarding the city’s requests painting parking stripes along South 4th Street, east of the County Courthouse.  This will highlight reserved parking areas for ADA regulations and for future voting borders in November.  CDOT has also requested that the cracks in that portion of the sidewalk be filled.  Commissioner Marble noted that the entire length of the sidewalk may have to be replaced.  On a similar safety note, some open areas of the east entrance ramp and railing will be looked at for safety concerns for residents in wheelchairs or using crutches or walkers.  County Administrator, Jo Dorenkamp, was designated the ADA coordinator for the county and that information will now be included on future Commissioner’s meeting agendas.  Because of cost considerations, the commissioners voted not to develop a Pretrial Services program and a letter to that effect is being sent to Stanley Brinkley, Chief Judge of the 15th Judicial District.  The program would have created a job position for a person to help determine and set bond levels for the court system, a process now handled by the judges.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedHealthHollyLamarProwers CountyPublic Safety


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