Sage Brush Meadows Prepares for City Council Meeting, Briefs PEP Board

Jillane Hixson, one of the organizers of the proposed Sage Brush Meadows skilled-care facility planned for Lamar, briefed the Prowers Economic Prosperity (PEP) board members on their progress, during the PEP monthly meeting held at the Green Garden Restaurant this past Tuesday, May 1st.

Hixson stated, “We are moving forward, and the feasibility study is currently underway.” She explained the study is needed to forward their efforts to construct a 54-64 bed facility south of Lamar.  “We’re meeting with the Lamar City Council on May 14th to ask that the ballot questions needed for the project will be referred by them.  Hixson added there are four parts for the November ballot including the formation of a health district, allowing a vote for a 1% sales tax increase within the City of Lamar and two questions to establish a board of directors.

She said the organizing board has been meeting with various groups, explaining their goals and the steps needed leading to the financing and construction of the 501(c)(3) non-profit facility, similar to what she was doing at the PEP monthly meeting and asking for a letter of support. The PEP board voted earlier to donate $10,000 in a funding match needed to finance the feasibility study.  Hixson explained that any profits will be re-invested in the nursing home.  The organizers also need 200 signatures on a petition they will present to the council on the 14th as an indication of community interest.  Because this will be a Medicaid approved facility, and because the state can regulate the number of nursing home beds within a given community under a Medicaid certificate, Hixson said the innovations planned for the facility should allow them to receive a waiver for Sage Brush Meadows.  “The state was very happy with the location near the golf course and the fact that the ten acres have been donated to us,” she said.

Eric Depperschmidt, PEP Executive Director, said the Holly dairy is moving forward with their plans and will be seeking an incentive package through their discussions with the Prowers County Commissioners. Some groundwork has already begun and Depperschmidt said he expects the first phase of construction to begin in June.  PEP office hours in Holly have been altered to the first and third Wednesday of every month at the Depot.  The board noted PEP had received a $10,000 Community Partners donation for April.

PEP President Aaron Leiker told the board that the lobbying efforts to have Senate Bill 18-197 move forward did not meet with success, but were still effective. Leiker, Depperschmidt and PEP Secretary Rick Robbins spent several days in Denver, lobbying in favor of the bill which would eliminate the requirement for agriculture producers to stop at the Port of Entry within a five mile radius.  The bill passed through the agriculture committee to the finance committee where it was halted, due in part to the arguments put forth by the CDOT and CSP.  Leiker said he felt they might have more success next year when they hope to re-introduce the bill earlier in the legislative session.  The bill was introduced by State Senator Larry Crowder and supported by State Representative Kimmi Lewis.  The next PEP meeting will be held on June 5th in Granada.

By Russ Baldwin




Filed Under: AgricultureCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyCollegeConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEmploymentFeatured


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