PCDI to Host Business Seminars, Discusses Colorado Space Business Roundtable

PCDI Board Member, Cindy Otto

PCDI Board Member, Cindy Otto

The Prowers County Development Incorporated Board of Directors held their monthly meeting this past Tuesday, July28, with new member Cindy Otto attending her first meeting. She was appointed to replace Deb Choat for her unfinished term. Otto, like Choat, is a Granada resident.

Interim Executive Director, George Gotto recapped his most recent activities including a meeting with ARPA General Manager, Rick Rigel, for an update on having PCDI act as the administrator for a court ordered SEP energy project in several ARPA serviced communities. Gotto helped consolidate the third of four reports required to close out the project which will expire at the end of this year. PCDI is being reimbursed by ARPA for its administrative services.

Gotto said he had met with Prowers County Administrator, Jo Dorenkamp and John Sutherland, City of Lamar Administrator, regarding his role with PCDI as the interim executive director and he felt more comfortable in his role following those meetings.

Gotto took part in a regional meeting in La Junta to discuss Brownsfield Redevelopment, a way to deal with real property facing costs associated with environmental cleanup for asbestos abatement, PCB contamination and fuel storage tanks. “We looked at how smaller towns aren’t well versed on financial opportunities or grants which could save on costs. Because of what we perceive to be limited resources on the matter, rather than deal with those issues, we tend to put them off. There are organizations available for future grants which won’t have to cost our citizens a lot of funding. This has been put to use in Canon City and Salida.” Gotto added that some funding was available years ago when the western portion of the state was involved in the cleanup of uranium talings.

Jo Dorenkamp and County Commissioner Ron Cook and Gotto attended a meeting in Pueblo to discuss the impact Highway 50 could have on economic development in our area. He noted that Highway 50, along with I-70 is one of the two main east/west thoroughfares through the state. “The other for this region is Highway 40, but it’s about 400 miles to the south of us through Albuquerque,” he stated, mentioning that safety issues along the narrow Highway 50 are a concern for moving larger vehicles and semis on the road. It was also pointed out that the perception that travel is easier east bound, allows for many travelers and potential buyers to make a run into Garden City, Kansas instead of keeping shopping dollars within the state.

PCDI has planned to host several small business seminars in the near future including Quick Books classes, from basic to advanced courses for interested businesses. A commercial driver’s license course is being planned for Lamar as well as a repeat forklift operator’s class scheduled for September.

Another meeting involving PCDI is set for August 20 at Lamar Community College when fifteen representatives from Colorado Space Business will hold a roundtable about potential business development in this region. They are also being held in La Junta and Trinidad. Some local businesses that are being invited include Suetrak, Pelsue, Dragon Industries and Altek.

President Rick Robbins said no action was taken in an early executive session, but the discussion focused on the job description and direction that needs to be taken by an eventual fulltime executive director, per previous discussions with the City of Lamar and Prowers County.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarProwers CountyTransportationUtilitiesWiley


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