2019 Year in Review – JUNE

Greenberg and John Stulp

The following articles are a recap of various news events which have had an impact on residents of Prowers County this past year.

Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Takes Southeast State Tour

Lamar Community College was the last stop of the evening for Kate Greenberg, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, this past Thursday, June 20th. Greenberg, who has been Commissioner since the start of the year, held a meet and greet with area ag producers, ranchers and the public in general at the college’s library, capping a day long visit to Mauch Farms, Colorado Mills and Ragsdale/Stulp Farms.

Greenberg, who hails from Durango, said she’s been on the go since her appointment earlier this year and Prowers County was a scheduled stop on her most recent tour.

Greenberg said she’s filling big shoes in her new capacity and it has helped with the pathway to do this job well. “This is our 12th visit, and I see no end to the tour, as it will be ongoing in my capacity as ag commissioner to become acquainted with everyone through the years of my coming service.” She laid out her background and qualifications, having served on the National Young Farmers Coalition for six years with a focus on farmer led policy reform especially stressed. I’m also involved with next generation policy issues, what policies appeal to them, making sure there is an ease for pass down in family farming as well as what policy changes will impact the next generation involving our farms and ranches.” She said other issues included capital financing, inheritance succession, land access and affordability, water policy and on interstate water issues. One of the newer and undeveloped areas is commercial hemp production in Colorado.

By Russ Baldwin


City Receives Funding on Main Café

Lamar City Administrator, John Sutherland, noted the city had successfully applied for a REDI grant for the Main Café Acquisition. He informed the Lamar Redevelopment Board during their June 24th meeting that a grant of $13,500 had been approved for the city to use to upgrade the former restaurant at 114 South Main Street. The application had been in the amount of $18,000. The acknowledgement letter from DoLA Executive Director, Rick Garcia noted the grant needed to be applied to the project by June 30, 2020.

Although some demolition work by the new owner began in 2014, because of the asbestos content and the overall cost of refurbishing the location, the effort was halted. Some of the asbestos can be disposed of in the city landfill, according to Craig Brooks, Lamar’s Chief Building Official because of its more solid texture. Some renovation work had been done to the first floor but the second floor suffered from water damage. This past March, Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Manager said the building is also on the list for a brownsfield assessment, using a portion of a $300,000 grant the city had received.

The latest grant will be used towards the purchase of the building and a plan on how best to capitalize on the renovations, something along the line of either studio apartments or office space which will generate revenues over a longer period.

By Russ Baldwin


Lamar Redevelopment Authority Helps Fund Development of former K-Mart


Former Kmart in Lamar

Angie Cue, Lamar’s Community Development Director, outlined a funding proposal submitted by Lamar Main Street LLC, aka Gateway Safety Products, which has been manufacturing road flares in Lamar for the past several years. The company plans to expand its operation from its initial manufacturing site, the former Greenstreet Distributing Company on West Poplar Avenue to the former Kmart Store at 701 North Main Street.

Since Gateway’s beginnings in 2017, they have outgrown their site which manufactures highway safety flares as well as for police and fire departments, towing companies, skiing resorts and trucking companies. They have subsequently purchased the former Kmart building and have estimated improvements at $275,000 to include demolition, installation of a loading dock, electrical work, new LED lighting, HVAC, roof repairs and many other areas needed to improve the facility to meet building codes and to begin their expanded operation.

The Authority approved $25,000 to Lamar Main Street LLC.

By Russ Baldwin


PEP Introduces Lamar Native as New Economic Development Lead

Tara Hosick and Aaron Leiker


LAMAR, CO – Significant upward momentum is what Prowers Economic Prosperity (PEP) is planning for as the organization finalized the hiring of an economic development consultant on Monday, June 10. Following a recommendation from the hiring committee, the Board of Directors approved the contract for Lamar native Tara Smith-Hosick.

Hosick is expected to serve as an Economic Development Consultant for the organization through the end of 2019. Intentions are that Hosick will transition to the full-time executive director in January 2020. Hosick is currently Manager of Strategic Community Development for Freeport McMoRan/Climax Molybdenum. In this capacity, she represents the mining company in working with local governments and agencies to develop sustainable economic development. Prior to this role, Hosick spent thirteen years in economic development as a county economic development director and overseeing all of Western Nebraska for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

by Russ Baldwin





Filed Under: City of LamarFeatured

About the Author: