2018 Year in Review – April


Early Stages of Development



A Dream Comes True for HOPE Center Students

A four year project is coming to a conclusion at the Lincoln School HOPE Center today, April 20th. Rolls of fresh sod are being placed over new dirt and a recently installed sprinkler system, creating a grass playground for the students at the school.  It’s been a long time in coming.

Future Site of a Grassy Playground

Emily Neischburg, Director of the Big Timbers Community Alliance and the One Step Up Program was on hand Friday morning. The Alliance focuses on health and community issues in Lamar, while the One Step Up program works with local youth to help foster their involvement in community affairs.

Neischburg said this was a project all the kids had been counting on. Lori Hammer, director of the HOPE Center added identical sentiments, says the four years had been a long, long wait for kids who attended the Center when they were only 8 or 9 and had worked to get this accomplished.

The students really never stopped working on the project, holding various fundraising projects to help pay for the materials and staying in touch with community leaders on why the project was important to them.

Neischburg said a lot of in-kind effort went into the project, from the RE-2 school board, adult volunteers, Martin Schlott and DeWitt Excavating providing the excavation equipment and new soil and the Gallegos family that donated the sprinkler system from Valley Lawn Care.



North View from Spreading Antlers Golf Course


Council Approves Letter of Support for Proposed Nursing Home

The Lamar City Council voted to sign a letter of support for the proposed Sage Brush Meadows Nursing Home during the council’s April 23rd meeting. This is one step among several the organizing group needs to move the project forward to a November ballot.  Anne-Marie Crampton, councilwoman, recommended the group begin gathering a minimum of 200 signatures from citizens who favor the project, along with a 1% sales tax initiative for purchases within the city limits.  “That will go a long way to helping the council refer the measure to the ballot in November,” she explained.

One important hurdle for the group will be to receive approval from the state for additional Medicaid Bed Certificates. If those aren’t allowed, the new nursing home will be stalled.  If the measure isn’t put on this November’s ballot, it won’t be able to be introduced again until 2020.  Brooke explained that the waivers can be granted from the State Health Care Police and Finances organization based on the number and quality of innovative programs the nursing home will create.  Brooke explained the nursing home, planned on ten donated acres north of Spreading Antlers Golf Course, will feature from 54 to 64 private rooms in four neighborhoods of operation, creating large and small units.


Granada, Holly, Wiley Hold Municipal Election

Voters in three communities in Prowers County voted for their representatives this past Tuesday, April 3rd and one mill levy issue.

Holly voters went in favor of incumbent Tony Garcia as mayor with 80 votes. He had been opposed by Derrell Bailey who had 34 votes.  There were 5 candidates for three open trustee seats.  The votes were cast as follows:  Jacob Holdren – 68, Anthony Moldenhauer – 66, Aaron Leiker – 65, Justin Wilhite – 64, and Jarid Gulley 51.

Glenn Otto was unopposed and re-elected as Mayor of Granada in municipal voting held on Tuesday, April 3rd.

There were six candidates for four seats for Trustees with the highest votes serving four year terms and the lowest serving a two year term. The voting was as follows, and will not be authenticated until a later date.  Pete Hernandez with 60 votes, Andria Riddle with 56, Traegon Marquez with 49 and Argie Thrall with 42.  Carrie Esquibel received 34 votes and Mary Ellen Shafer received 16.

Wiley voters decided in favor of a 19 mill levy increase, making possible an additional $22,536.24 a year to be spent on various road repairs through the annual operating and capital expense in the town’s budget. According to Wiley Town Clerk, Debbie Dillon, these numbers are not authenticated at this time. The vote in favor was 91 and 20 votes were in opposition to the mill levy increase.

Three of the four candidates for Wiley Town Board will serve four year terms. They are Sandy Coen with 93 votes, Julie Esgar with 91, Tom Proctor with 89 and Dale Stewart, who received 85 votes, will serve a two year term.


Lamar Hotel Feasibility Study

Can Lamar support a new upscale hotel year round? A feasibility study has been conducted by Jessica Junker, a Core Distinction Group Representative who visited Lamar March 27th to determine the lodging needs in Prowers County.  The information gathered by the group will be used by Prowers Economic Prosperity (PEP) as a future reference guide for any prospective hotel franchise looking at Prowers County as a potential development site.

The interviews Junker holds with ‘demand or revenue generators’ would provide her with information on whether the community has a need for an upscale establishment, based on customers not finding an available room and traveling to another location. “When that happens, you’re losing your revenue and tax dollars,” she explained, adding that the additional revenue loss comes with fewer customers for retail outlets such as restaurants, stores and gas stations. By the same token, there must be a sufficient demand to make a new hotel a financial option.  “You don’t want to see a hotel that’s built and stays empty and fails.  That’s another aspect of the feasibility study,” she explained to the commissioners.

Once the feasibility study has been completed and assessed, the Core group will be in contact with Eric Depperschmidt, Executive Director of PEP, with their findings and recommendations. Junker said there are hotel development companies that provide a breakdown of the costs of development, including materials, land and construction plus any extra costs involved and they can provide input into future considerations for a franchise group that may be interested in Prowers County.
By Russ Baldwin


Planning Commission Approves Dairy Special Use Permit

On a unanimous vote, following a public hearing, the Prowers County Planning Commission approved a request for a special use permit to construct and operate a commercial cattle dairy in the southeastern section of Holly. The district is zoned as A-2 and A-3.  Most of the facility, owned and operated by Syracuse Dairy, LLC-Holly Location, will be located in Section 18 of Prowers County, with a small portion of the facility located in Section 7.  Total acreage of the dairy is approximately 610 acres.  None of the feed storage and dairy structures will displace land that is currently irrigated.  The main entrance to the dairy will be on CR 37.

It was noted in the general discussion during the public hearing held on April 4th at the Prowers County Annex, the dairy will obtain state and federal permits for a concentrated animal feeding operation and will be required to comply with applicable laws and regulations for such facilities. The proposed facilities include access roads, dairy cow and heifer pens, a milking facility, a shop building, feed storage bins, livestock waste management facilities and a water supply system.

The principals in the operation will have a year to begin some form of construction on the property to maintain the viability of the new special use permit. Earlier plans called for milk production at about 420,000 pounds per day with feed demands estimated at 595,000 pounds per day for 6,000 head of milking cows.  The dairy is proposed to employ two dozen full time workers with an estimated combined annual salary of $2M.  Other economic benefits will include annual real estate taxes for Prowers County.
By Russ Baldwin




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