PEP to Host December Mixer, Begins Task Force Goals for 2020



Prowers Economic Development (PEP), will host a mixer, inviting potential members to become ‘Friends of PEP’ at Frontier Bank on South Main Street in Lamar on Monday, December 2nd, from 5pm to 7pm.  Tara Hosick, Interim Consulting Executive Director, said the meeting will serve to acquaint persons from Prowers County to learn how a limited membership fee will help fund the economic development organization and attract persons interested in assisting PEP activities at various levels. The recruitment goal is one of several strategies expressed in the 2020 draft budget reviewed by board members during the November 18th meeting. Members are working towards a balanced budget of $138,400 for the new year.

Committee reports covered areas such as the pending change in the line-up for the Lamar City Council and administrative staff. According to councilwoman, Anne-Marie Crampton, “We expect to have a list of nine candidates by next week for the City Administrator position,” she explained, adding the list will be narrowed to four or five persons who would come to Lamar for in-person interviews with the council. “We would hope to have a person named by the end of this year,” she said, stating that the person’s professional status would be a factor in when they could begin their employment in Lamar. She added that City Attorney, Garth Neischburg, will soon be retiring from his duties at the end of his contract and there are two openings on the council for qualified persons; one in Ward One and another from Ward Three. The council hopes to have that selection narrowed by its November 25th meeting.

Treagon Marquez, Granada Trustee, mentioned the community will get a new water tank south of town in the near future. “Our landfill status is in good shape, probably for the next three years,” he said, adding that it would be hard to set up a recycle point in Granada without any prime land availability. Marquez said the Amache Relocation Museum will be moved across the road, occupying property owned by TBK Bank. He expected the transfer of some of the materials to begin before the end of the year. The former Mason’s Building in town is being transformed into a church, but the work is progressing slowly as the contractors are at work on another project at this point.

Rick Robbins, from the Business Retention and Expansion Task Force, said work continues on a comprehensive business survey of Prowers County and a recent manufacturing roundtable was held with a representative from Manufacturer’s Edge attending.

Dr. Linda Lujan, chair of the Workforce Development group, recapped the Homegrown Talent Initiative project which focuses on economic and related job studies targeting middle school students. The goal is to engage students at a crucial point in their education and develop a relationship with them to help students realize the steps required to achieve an employment goal, based on their interests and abilities. Lujan stated, “Four out of ten Lamar High School seniors are not graduating college or career avenues. In three years HTI would like to see every student in Prowers County schools graduating with a knowledge of experience they need to choose a successful pathway.”

Tara Hosick urged PEP Task Force chairpersons to begin to develop a meeting schedule for 2020 for each board. The boards are Business Retention and Attraction, headed by Rick Robbins, Community Outreach, Marketing and Partnerships, headed by Anne-Marie Crampton, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Start-up under Cheryl Sanchez, Business Attraction under Ron Cook, Workforce Development with Dr. Linda Lujan and Housing and Quality of Life has yet to be determined. Hosick said each of the separate groups should coordinate to ensure they don’t overlap as she intends to attend each meeting once she is re-located to Lamar to begin her full-time duties, hopefully in early February.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesEconomyFeatured


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