2017 Year in Review NOVEMBER



Lawsuit Resolved…City of Lamar and ARPA Reach Agreement

The City of Lamar and Arkansas River Power Authority have been attempting to reach a settlement regarding the Lamar Repowering Project for several years and the Lamar City Council approved a resolution for the settlement agreement in principle with the power supplier. The city council brought a suit, Case 31, against ARPA in Prowers County District Court in 2014; for breach of contract in several areas when it was determined the coal fired power plant would not operate up to expectations.

One attempt at mediation fell short in the offer as other ARPA member communities had voted against the settlement. All ARPA member communities had to reach unanimous agreement otherwise the settlement would not be resolved and La Junta voted against the settlement this past spring.  That still left court ordered mediation on the table before another trial date would have been set between both parties, most likely, in the spring of 2018.

This past February and again on August 15th and on August 20th, ARPA and the City of Lamar met in mediation. On the 20th both parties reach an agreement in principle to resolve all disputes related to the Lamar Repowering Project including all claims that were asserted or could have been asserted in the litigation.

Mayor Roger Stagner, at the November 13th council meeting, outlined the general settlement stating that the City of Lamar would receive $1,500,000 up-front from ARPA and within 18 months from the first payment or the successful refinancing of the ARPA bonds, which ever came first, the city would receive $1,000,000 from ARPA. Stagner said, “These payments will effectively take care of the litigation costs the city incurred in the lawsuits.”  He said the city will receive some properties at the Repowering Project site as well as ownership of the two coal domes.  “The city will have the ability to sell them if it can, or to have them repurposed,” he explained, adding that after five years the city has the authority to have ARPA tear down the domes and remove them at ARPA’s cost.  ARPA will also be required to restore the property to its condition as it existed at the commencement of the term of the Lease Agreement.

In addition to the two initial payments, the City of Lamar will also receive $350,000 per year for the next 26 years from ARPA for a total of $9,100,000. This is a financial improvement over the proposed first settlement of a single $1,000,000 payment from ARPA as well as $33,333,333 for the 26 year period as compensation for the loss of the Unit 6 turbine owned by the city.


New Marijuana Ordinance Approved for Prowers County

The Prowers County Commissioners approved an ordinance regulating the personal growing, cultivation and procession of marijuana within the county limits during their meeting, November 14th , 2017. Ordinance 2017-1 states that there can be no more than 12 plants grown at one specific residence within the county.  They must be cultivated or processed at a primary residence, inclusive of a primary structure.

The plants shall not be grown, processed or cultivated in more than one structure on any single lot, parcel or tract one acre in size or greater, nor will it be grown, cultivated or processed within the common areas of a multi-family or attached residential development. The plants cannot be grown out of doors, but must be confined to a space limited to a contiguous 1000 cubic foot volume.  The ordinance also states that the area must be fully enclosed and locked to ensure accessibility only by the person growing, cultivating or processing the marijuana for medical or personal use and to prevent access by children, visitors, casual passerby or anyone not authorized by law to possess marijuana.

It also prohibits the use of compressed flammable gas (e.g. butane) or flammable liquid from being used in the growing, cultivating or processing of marijuana. The odor of the plants or processing should not be noticeable from any adjoining property or public right-of-way. If the property is rented for growing marijuana, any lessee or tenant shall obtain written, notarized permission from the property owner prior to establishing such use.

Violations and convictions of the ordinance brings a fine of not more than $1,000 for each separate violation, plus a surcharge of $10 under C.R.S. 30-15-1402(2) each day during which such violations exist shall be deemed a separate offense.


Zordel to Seek Re-election as Prowers County Sheriff

I will be seeking re-election as Sheriff in 2018. I would like the opportunity to continue my work and to keep moving forward with new goals to make the Prowers County Sheriff’s Office the best it can be. This requires the Sheriff’s Office to continue positive interactions in the community, with other offices, agencies, and jurisdictions to achieve these goals. These community and agency partnerships aid us in investigations, both narcotic and criminal. It is a great feeling knowing we have the public’s trust because of our integrity, discipline, honesty and leadership. We must continue to build those relationships by doing the right things for the right reasons.

My focus is on continuing to provide necessary community services, good well-intentioned law enforcement, to keep moving forward with our drug investigations, and keep staff well trained and content in their jobs, for stability. As always, our priorities are building strong prosecutable cases, protecting our citizen’s Constitutional rights, and maintaining our reputation as a well-respected, law enforcement agency, in Prowers and all southeast Colorado.

I ask for your continued support as we move forward, and I ask for your support for the next four years.
Sam Zordel
Prowers County Colordo



Official Election Results Posted by County Clerk and Recorder

The Prowers County Clerk and Recorder’s office has completed a canvass of the November 7, 2017 Coordinated Election and has issued the results.

Mayor Roger Stagner defeated Felix Dias for Mayor of Lamar by 135 votes, 887 to 752. Kirk Crespin and Oscar Riley ran unopposed for re-election to the Lamar City Council with Crespin receiving 508 votes and 315 for Riley for Wards 1 and 2, respectively.  As Keith Nidey declined to run for re-election for Ward 3, there was no vote and that seat is now open on the council.  A notice will be published for candidates to fill the vacancy.

Ballot Issue 2A was defeated by 83 votes with 815 voting against and 732 in favor of the lodging tax.

There was one contested seat for school board in the Re-2 District A. Rod Dunn defeated Cade Spitz by 176 votes, receiving 1,047 to Spitz’s 871.  All other districts were uncontested:  Lanie Meyers-Mililes in District B received 1,418, Connie Jacobsen had 1,479 for District C, Nancy Winsor had 1,438 votes from District E and Chris Wilksinson had 1,555 votes for District G.

There were seven candidates for three seats for School Director for District Re-3. The top three votes were received by:  Jesse Frey with 388, Tanya Rushton with 262 and Kevin Humrich with 226.  The rest of the balloting showed Kenia Vazquez with 145 votes, Sheia Tefertiller with 114, Monica Leiker with 101 and Evan Brian JR with 80 votes.

Four board positions for the School District Re-13JT were open with seven candidates. Neil Mauch received 212 votes, Josh Weimer had 164, Bradley Lubbers had 154 and Chad Krentz had 147. The other votes cast were Danielle Wollert with 107, 105 for Jeremy Summers and Clint Bean with 63.


Prowers Commissioners Accept Resignations from Two County Health Personnel

The Prowers County Commissioners held executive session meetings Tuesday, October 31st for personnel matters with two individuals, pursuant to C.R.S. 24-6-402 (4)(f) with each individual attending the meeting. A third executive session was held with Prowers County Attorney, Darla Scranton-Specht to receive legal advice on specific legal questions regarding the personnel matters.

Following the meeting, the Commissioners accepted the written resignations of Tammi Clark, Prowers County Public Health and Environment Director for the county since 2013 and from County Public Health Nurse, Morgan Bennett. Personnel discussions under Executive Session regulations are kept confidential and the reasons for the resignations were not discussed following the meetings.

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