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Commissioners Receive Update on Community Corrections Project

Doug and Mark Carrigan, Tom Grasmick and Darla Scranton Specht

Doug and Mark Carrigan, Tom Grasmick and Darla Scranton Specht

 

Doug Carrigan and his brother, local contractor, Mark Carrigan met with the Prowers County Commissioners to provide an update on Doug Carrigan’s planned community corrections facility. It will be housed in the refurbished WPA buildings on East Maple Street in Lamar.  Within the past six weeks, a brand new, green metal roof was installed on all the buildings on the property, approximately 4.5 acres bordered by the railroad tracks to its south.

“I’ve been delayed on this project for a while as I’m finalizing an expansion project for the facility I own in Sterling,” Carrigan explained for the commissioners during their December 19th meeting.  Carrigan made several presentations to the Lamar community earlier this year, laying out his plans for a local corrections facility, operated on a smaller scale to the one he owns and manages in Sterling.  He stated that some health problems with a liaison at the State Department of Justice has also slowed the project, but the state is supporting his efforts.  “The Joint Budget Committee is in favor of developing these types of programs, especially in rural areas,” he explained.

Construction Project on WPA Buildings

Construction Project on WPA Buildings

The agreement with the Prowers County Commissioners allow for two, six-month extensions and county attorney, Darla Scranton Specht, voiced a concern that some of the needed benchmarks may not be within the calendar of operations. Carrigan said he’d appreciate whatever could be done regarding the transfer of ownership of the property.  “I want to be open by July 1st, but it may extend into sometime in August, September or October.  Sterling is close to being completed and then I can devote all my energies to the Lamar project,” he stated.

Scranton recommended a 90 day review. “I’d rather have an update sooner than wait until we were a few days or weeks up to the deadline for a review on the project,” she explained, adding that the contract was more contingent on state approval for the facility than a construction deadline.  Carrigan said it would be no problem to provide an agreement from the state and he would be in touch with the commissioners.

Commissioner Chairman, Ron Cook explained, “We’ve been asked by some constituents for an update on the progress of the project and we appreciate you providing this information.”   Commissioner Schnabel remarked, “This will be a valuable project for the community, not just for the jobs it will create, but for those who will benefit from the services you provide.”  Carrigan replied that at his most recent briefing in Lamar several mothers spoke to him about their children’s addiction problems and what his program could offer them.  “They tell me it’s needed here.”

He added that a show of support from people in a public capacity from the community would help him. “If letters showing support could be sent to the State Office of Behavioral Health, it would aid in the process,” he explained, “That will help me in the biggest challenge we’ll face on this.”  Carrigan said he’d be in Lamar with an update within the next 90 days.

By Russ Baldwin

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