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2017 Year in Review – January

View of Zones to be Set for Construction on Main Street

 

RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT THROUGH LAMAR

And so it begins……….

LAMAR, COLO– The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the City of Lamar hosted an open house on Thursday January 19, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. to kick-off the reconstruction of US Highway 287 through the City of Lamar.

The project contractor, American Civil Constructors (ACC Mountain West), provided an overview of the work, presented the initial project schedule and outlined efforts for proactive communication with local businesses, residents and visitors to the region.

ACC Mountain West was hired by CDOT to replace and improve the waterline and reconstruct the road on US 287 within the City of Lamar – a project footprint a little less than one mile. Improvements will include waterline, some utilities, curb, gutter and concrete paving.  The comprehensive plan, stretching between Park Street and the Lamar Canal, is expected to be completed in two stages, ending in 2018.

 

Courthouse Improvement Project Reviewed

The infrastructure of the Prowers County Courthouse is showing its age. Built in the late 1920s, some of the facility operation systems are breaking down including on-going HVAC, electrical and safety failures.  This need prompted the Prowers County Commissioners to hire a construction firm, 360 Energy Engineers, to provide an assessment and cost of replacement and repairs for each floor of the building.  They reviewed the latest update on the $2,750,000 project on Tuesday, January 10th which, according to Commissioner, Ron Cook, will have to be paid out of pocket.  “We had applied for a $1M grant last month, but it was not approved,” he explained, adding that there were a high amount of similar requests from around the state.

Lee Macke, the construction manager for the project, said the HVAC replacement is the biggest piece of the project, as the brand new system will replace the antiquated two pipe hydronic which is about 50 years old. The boiler and the chiller system in the basement had failures this past year, caused in part by the piping system which is plugged in a number of locations.  “This lack of flow was the cause for a number of locations which had neither heat nor cold around the courthouse,” he stated.

Regarding electrics, Macke said the most pressing needs included a set of new electrical distribution panels on each floor which will support additional branch circuits and some of the older ones will be cleaned up during the project. “Some of these are so old they have no grounding conductor, just two prongs for a plug-in and not the standard three-prong outlets we see today,” he stated.

The new LED lighting system will use the latest technology which will be a considerable upgrade over current fluorescent lighting and will reduce operating expenses which will lower electrical costs. “We should see lower costs in your budget over time and that will be one of the driving factors in this project,” he told the commissioners.

Bob’s Burgers Just Prior to Being Leveled

Lamar Landmark Cleared Away (coffee cup demolition)

Some residents knew it as the Coffee Cup while others were familiar with the name of Bob’s Burgers. Whatever we called it, the eatery at the corner of South 5th Street and West Oak came down in short order on Thursday, January 19th.  Construction crews leveled both the small diner and the small house located directly to the south of it.

The diner, which had served the community with low priced burgers and other sandwiches for so many years, has been vacant for easily a decade, if not longer. Residents of a local Lamar family had run the operation for a while, as well as Bob Barnes, the namesake of the diner for a period of time.  The property is privately owned by a local bank and an inquiry has been made if there are any immediate plans for the land now that the corner lot has been cleared.  The demolition was separate from the on-going projects of clearing derelict houses under the guidance of the City of Lamar.  The last clearing project for that was a series of empty houses in the 500 block of North 11th Street.

 

New Windfarm Construction Set for this Spring

Thirty-six wind turbines are scheduled to be built 23 miles south of Lamar beginning this spring. Mark Stacy, the director for Iberdrola Renewables LLC, told the Prowers Journal that roadwork east of Highway 287 is expected to begin in April.  “Our operations and management building will go up in March and our central location will be at the intersection of CR 12 and CR K,” he stated.  The new turbines will be constructed on the east side of Highway 287, east of the Colorado Green turbine complex.  There are 108 turbines in the general vicinity, east and west of the highway that have been in operation for about ten years.

Stacy briefed the Prowers County Commissioners this past December to provide an update on the Twin Buttes ll project which has been in planning stages as far back as April, 2015 when a permit for construction was granted following a public hearing. The land has been zoned as A-2 non-irrigated and as that area has already been a site for past wind turbine development, no alterations for the 11,000 acres were needed.  “We’ll develop our road system and following that, construction crews will begin laying the concrete foundations to hold the turbines and lay out the electrical infrastructure to connect them to the existing grid,” he added.  The project time has the foundation excavations underway by May and the turbines are expected to arrive in July.  Stacy said the project should be concluded by November of this year.

2017 Chamber President, Ginger Coberley

Chamber Holds 96th Annual Banquet

Two Lamar citizens and one local business were recognized for their service to the community during the annual Lamar Chamber of Commerce Banquet, held Wednesday, January 25th, at the Lamar Eagles Lodge. The event also introduced the incoming president for 2017, Ginger Coberly, as well as the board members who will serve for the year.  Vickie Dykes, outgoing chamber president thanked her board for their service through 2016.

The Citizen of the Year award was sponsored by Community State Bank, with Aaron Leiker of KVAY introducing the nominee and reading the nominating letter for Rick Robbins, general manager of Colorado Mills and current president of PEP, the county’s economic development organization. Robbins has been active in community economic development in his position as president of PEP and its transition from PCDI and through the work and generous donations made by Colorado Mills to various organizations in Lamar including Hospice and Project HOPE.

The Humanitarian of the Year award is not an annual presentation, but is bestowed upon those citizens who have made a major impact on the quality of life for Lamar’s residents. Lamar’s Community Development Director, Angie Cue, made the announcement on behalf of the award’s sponsor, Edward Jones Office of Michael Beard.  This year’s award was presented to Clifford Boxley who serves on the Lamar Planning and Zoning Board, Lamar Utility Board and Lamar Partnership Incorporated.

For the second year now, a new award has been included in the annual chamber banquet festivities; the Business/Organization of the Year award which recognizes the work of an organization which contributes to the well-being of our community. This year’s award was sponsored by Big Timbers Community Alliance and was presented by Jackie Brown and Karen Bryant to Bob DeLancey, owner/operator and the staff of KVAY Radio in Lamar.  The presenters explained the goals of the Alliance, dedicated to restoring prosperity through local efforts to build a better stronger and healthier community.  They stated that KVAY shares the belief of the Alliance that, ‘community is at the core’ of that success.

 

New Year: New County Officials

Swearing-in ceremonies for four elected officials for Prowers County were held Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at the Prowers County District Courtroom. The newly remodeled courtroom will be the location for the swearing-in ceremony and reception to follow for Stanley Brinkley, Chief Judge for the 15th Judicial District; Joshua Vogel, District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District.

Vogel was elected this past November over his challenger, Rodney Fouracre. Vogel is replacing the current District Attorney, Jennifer Swanson who is term limited in the office.  Prowers County Commissioner, Tom Grasmick will replace out-going commissioner, Henry Schnabel who decided not to run for re-election this past fall.  Grasmick will represent District One.  Wendy Buxton-Andrade will be sworn in for her second term as a Prowers County Commissioner.  Andrade was unopposed for her seat in District Three.

 

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