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Lamar Partnership Incorporated Provides Overview at Monthly PEP Meeting

 

The façade squad at work

 

Tera Bender, board member of LPI, Lamar Partnership Inc., explained the function of the Main Street Community group and its mission in the Lamar community during the Prowers Economic Prosperity meeting on Tuesday, June 20th. LPI is a non-profit 501C4 organization which has qualified for a Main Street Community designation, and Lamar is one of 20 such communities in Colorado, she explained.

Bender outlined the territory as running from Pizza Hut, south to Park Street and expanding about one to two blocks east and west off Main Street. She added that LPI’s mission is to help revitalize, educate and broaden the business district by promoting Lamar’s historical and cultural significance and helping to build an expanding economy on that basis.  She said the group has a ‘façade squad’ that is active along Main Street, working to clean up store fronts or painting the façade to improve the general appearance such as the former Main Cafe.  Other activities include the decorative flower pots along the downtown sector, weeding and taking up the electric lights on the red street poles during the holiday seasons.  Members of the LPI board also volunteer their time on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month, assisting the E-Waste recycling center at 103 North Second Street in Lamar between 10am and 1pm.

PEP President, Rick Robbins asked if any information plaques have been placed on buildings to help define the historical significance of the downtown area. LPI is also heavily involved in highlighting the history of the community and receives a portion of its funding for the Colorado Main Street program through a Colorado State Historical fund grant.  Bender replied that will be a part of the work plan, but the group is holding off until the Main Street highway renovation project is completed, but the plaques will be incorporated into their walking tours for local historical buildings.

PEP Executive Director, Eric Depperschmidt, recapped his recent visit to the International Convention of Shopping Centers, held over three days in Las Vegas. While Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Director, promoted Lamar to retailers tagged by a franchise marketing firm, Buxton, Depperschmidt spent his time with business developers.  He said from seven to ten groups were approached in their efforts to highlight the benefits of Prowers County to potential businesses.

Depperschmidt visited the Pelsue operation which has a business venture just south of Lamar along Highway 287/385. The firm has undergone several expansions over the past two or three years,  outfitting small, self-contained trailers used as a rolling work shop to splice broken fiber optic lines or other similar repair needs.  Because of the expansion, Depperschmidt explained they’re interested in switching from well water to city water.  “That may have some issues, as they’re on the far side of the highway, but it’s something the city is involved in,” he stated.

The director provided some details on other business ventures he’s been assisting including road development funds for an agricultural based operation moving into the county; another unique venture is developing at Lamar Community College’s welding department, creating a device for animal massage therapy. Depperschmidt explained this is only in the planning stages at this point.  One current business will begin expansion construction this summer and it could increase their employee count from 10 to 20 new positions.  One business will remodel a Lamar building to start its new retail venture.  He also toured the Lamar airport and noted some of the planned construction for improvements.  The board went into executive session to close the meeting.  They will meet again at noon, Tuesday, July 18th.  The July 4th meeting was cancelled.

By Russ Baldwin

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