2017 Year in Review – December


Bustang Provides Bus Service to Pueblo

Lamar will have a regularly scheduled bus run connecting the city to Pueblo, Monday through Friday, beginning Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Julie Skeen of CIG, representing Bustang Outrider bus service from CDOT, told the council the bus service will run Monday through Friday with one trip per day, connecting Pueblo to Lamar from the Welcome Center at a cost of $21 each way for a $42 fee for round-trip.  The 38 seat bus, which will be headquartered in Lamar, will depart from Lamar at 7:48am and return to Lamar by 6:48pm.  Skeen said cash will be used for initial payments, but credit cards will be accepted at a later date and pre-paid tickets can be purchased using a phone-app at the website www.masabi.com.  The busses will offer wifi and toilet facilities.  “We expect to have a connection run to Colorado Springs later this year, as well as connecting routes to Alamosa, Gunnison and Pagosa Springs,” she told the council.  The service is also seeking drivers who will be trained and certified for the bus service at a starting wage of $14 per hour.


Chamber Holds Reorganization Meeting

The Lamar Chamber Board of Directors met recently to appoint new director positions for 2018 and committee chairs to head the chamber’s annual events. Kendra Cope will replace Ginger Coberley as chamber president; Jessica Medina will become the vice-president for the New Year with Mary DeLa Virgen as secretary and Cassie Looper as treasurer.  Lisa Schwarte and Valerie Baldwin will share duties, for the time being, as office managers with one able to fill in for the other due to an absence.

The 97th Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet will be held on Wednesday, January 24th at the Lamar Eagles Lodge. The incoming and outgoing directors will also be presented to the community.  Nominations for annual awards are being accepted at the chamber.  The chamber board will decide among the nominations the winners in categories such as: Citizen of the Year, Business/Organization of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.  The latter category is not always an annual presentation.  Contact the Chamber at 336-4379 for the criteria needed to submit a nomination.


Lamar Community College Generates over $41 Million for Local Economy

(Lamar, Colorado; December 18, 2017) An economic impact study conducted for Lamar Community College and the Colorado Community College System found that LCC, its students, and regional alumni added $41.1 million in income to the local economy in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. This figure is equal to 6.4 percent of the region’s total gross regional product, an impact that is slightly larger than the entire retail trade industry in the area.

The study concluded that $41.1 million in income to the local economy includes:

$5.9 million added to the region as a result of the campus’ day-to-day operations and annual construction spending. As one of the region’s largest employers, the study reported much of the campus’ $5 million payroll is spent locally – in the form of rent, groceries essentials and household expenses – given the fact that nearly all of the college’s employees (99%) live in the region.

$1.9 million added to the region as a result of out-of-region Lamar student expenditures.

$33.3 million added to the region as a result of Lamar Community College’s alumni currently employed in the regional workforce.

Overall, the $41.1 million impact supports 1,063 jobs in the region.


Small Landfills in Southeast Colorado Get Reprieve

Prowers County Commissioners, Wendy Buxton-Andrade and Tom Grasmick offered some welcome news at the monthly Prowers Economic Prosperity meeting held December 5th at the Granada City Complex. Buxton-Andrade said that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, CDPHE, in the face of a unanimous presentation from Colorado County Commissioners, has decided to relax its rulings on communities that have landfills at under a 20 ton capacity.  This impacts Granada and Wiley, as well as 17 other towns throughout the state.  Granada Mayor, Glenn Otto, said, “We were facing a $52,000 dollar fine from the CDPHE on our landfill operation.”

Grasmick told the gathering the local commissioners, along with others in the state, fought long and hard to present their case to the state health department. Buxton-Andrade said the lessening of the fines was put in writing and future meetings with the Environmental Protection Agency are being set to provide assistance with helping communities bring their landfills into compliance.  Grasmick added that the towns will receive financial assistance for a five year period with setting up test wells around their landfills, but after that, the towns will be on their own.  Several meetings with representatives from southeast Colorado were held this past fall to seek some forms of redress from the CDPHE on their expensive landfill regulations.

Cook Announces Re-Election Candidacy

I am announcing my candidacy for re-election, for the Office of Prowers County Commissioner, District 2. It has been a honor to serve the citizens of Prowers County for the past three years. I have developed a positive working relation relationship with fellow Commissioners, elected officials, and Department Heads. I have worked with surrounding communities to enable the growth and development of Prowers County. These relationships are crucial to the direction and progress of Prowers County and I can be very instrumental to continue the positive direction that the Board of County Commissioners has developed. I would like to continue to work with and be a part of the positive direction of economic development with PEP and being that voice to fight for the rights of Prowers County and Rural Colorado. I am always open and available to listen and respond to questions and concerns of the citizens of Prowers County. I am asking for your support in the 2018 Election.

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