2019 Year in Review – May

PMC Foundation Gala Centerpiece


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

PMC Foundation Gala Honors Frederick Esgar

Frederick Esgar, a staunch supporter of Prowers Medical Center, was honored and remembered during the annual Foundation Gala this past Friday, May 11th.

The event was two-fold, honoring a man who devoted his time between his family and his community by offering financial support for numerous activities for many years and to help raise funds for a two year Foundation goal, the purchase of an MRI scanner for the hospital.

Amber Rider, a director of the Foundation, said the organization had raised approximately $92,000 on its two year goal to purchase the MRI scanner that has a price tag of $1.6 million. Following the buffet meal, attendees could begin texting any donations they wished for a portion of the evening, using a large screen to tally the results which alone raised $8,000 that night.

The evening was highlighted by the introduction of the Esgar Family who presented a $50,000 donation to the Foundation to aid them in their goal of purchasing the device by 2021, bringing the net amount raised during the Gala to $79,000.


Holly Postponing New Administrator Search

The search for a new Holly Town Administrator is on hold for the summer, scheduled to resume in August. The Holly Trustees decided to resume the search several months from now during their May 1st board meeting. There were several points of difference between the Trustees and the candidate, who, according to Holly Mayor, Tony Garcia, didn’t believe he would find the community a proper fit for his needs after final interviews and contract negotiations.

Town Clerk, Megan Jara, told the Trustees that although the town had been awarded a USDA grant to help resolve Holly’s landfill issue, there were matters to be worked out on work duties between the town consultant, Gary Fuselier and an engineer who will be hired to conduct as assessment for the landfill. She said the agreement needs to be reached by June in order to secure grant funding.


Lodging Panel Considers Marketing/Funding Alternatives

Since its inception, the Prowers County Lodging Tax Panel has used a 2% pillow tax on motel room usage to fund advertising for specific events intended to draw visitors to the county for an overnight stay. This is a common practice used by almost every community in Colorado and neighboring states, although the percentage rate will vary. Over the years, the Panel has extended funding to cover contract fees for securing livestock for rodeo events or upfront payment to secure an event to appear in Prowers County. The average annual funding is in the neighborhood of $90,000, and for the most part the direct return on investment has been low. For the past several years the Panel has gone through some belt-tightening periods while dealing with requests for increased funding from annual events or receiving requests months in advance of an event. In some instances the Panel has pledged the funding, but postponed the award until it’s received one of four anticipated payments from the state each year based on quarterly tax assessments paid by the motel owners.

For several months, the Panel has discussed using some of its funding to advertise areas of interest in the county in general beyond fairs, concerts, car shows or rodeos. Panel member, Chad Hart, has made inquiries into by-laws governing other, similar panels in Colorado counties, attempting to see how they’ve developed and used their funding. This past Tuesday, May 21st, Bryan Jordan, of VistaWorks Destination Marketing visited with two different groups of citizens, brain-storming ideas on year-round attractions which are not tied to specific events. “Quite often, local residents take for granted, areas of their community which might have an appeal to people from outside their region,” he explained. A lot of the discussion focused on the means by which information about events or the locale can be generated, with most attendees feeling progress in social media technology over the past decade have become an accepted standard of ‘spreading the word’. Some areas mentioned included farming and ranching, farm to table cooking events and historically oriented aspects of this part of the state. Those attending believed there could be continued interest in those areas, but the current drawback was organizing them under specific leadership from which they could be capitalized.


Atmos Energy Pipe Replacement Projects Begin in Lamar

Night Work for Atmos Crew on Parmenter Street

LAMAR, Colo. (May 9, 2019) –Atmos Energy is investing millions of dollars to replace aging infrastructure throughout Colorado to further increase the safety and reliability of its natural gas delivery system. Beginning Monday, May 13th, 2019, these pipe replacement efforts will take place in Lamar, Colorado.

“Over the next several weeks, we will be upgrading natural gas pipelines in Lamar. This year our North Lamar project will include, West Beech Street south to Canal Street and 14th Street east to Main Street,” said Kurtis Paradisa, Atmos Energy Public Affairs Manager. “While our current system is safe and has performed well, we are replacing aging pipe with state-of-the-art materials.”

Lamar is home to more than 3,000 customers served by Atmos Energy in Colorado. This spring and into the fall, residents can expect to see highly-trained work crews replacing the natural gas mains and service lines that connect to customers’ meters.

“We are working closely with Lamar city officials and our local fire department to minimize any disruption that may accompany these upgrades,” said Paradisa. “In an effort to keep our customers informed, Atmos Energy crews will place a door tag at your home before work begins and place construction signs throughout your neighborhood.” Atmos Energy’s pipe replacement projects are scheduled to last 28-30 weeks, concluding in November, 2019.


First Steps for the Lamar Loop

Left to Right: Rick Akers, Chana Reed, Anne Marie-Crampton, Kirk Crespin, Mayor Roger Stagner, Administrator John Sutherland, Gerry Jenkins, Kendra Buchanan, Chamber of Commerce President

The Lamar Loop is complete. The six year project which involved numerous alternative plans and flexible funding was officially dedicated with ribbon cutting ceremonies this past Saturday, May 4th at 1pm at Willow Creek Park. Several dozen residents were on hand to enjoy a free hotdog lunch and some snacks from High Plains Community Health Center while others brought their bicycles for a quick spin on a portion of the Loop before the official ceremonies began.

Mayor Roger Stagner offered thanks to the community for their support and input, as well as GoCO, Greater Outdoors Colorado for initial funding along with the Colorado Health Foundation for its financial support.

Projects and costs for the Loop over the years of development ran between $1.3 million to $900,000 pending funding availabilities which also defined the scope and size of the project. While some portions of the six mile walking trail are lined with asphalt, some are of concrete while another segment that lines Willow Creek east of the park is composed of crusher fine material. The Loop continues to develop as more amenities are scheduled to be incorporated as funding provides. Just this past week, 12 foot tall sapling trees were planted along a portion of the walkway in the Greenbelt area from McCorkle Park on West Oak Street. More signage and trash receptacles will be included with future developments.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: City of LamarFeatured


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