2020 Year in Review -NOVEMBER

Ballot Box in East Parking Lot at Courthouse


November General Election Results (early returns)

There were 21 candidates on the November 3rd Colorado ballot for President including a slot for any write-in candidate. The unofficial tally for Colorado is 1,631,018 for Biden and 1,220,661 for the incumbent, Donald Trump.

Prowers County residents cast 1,438 ballots for Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket and 3,977 for Trump for the GOP. There was an 81% voter turnout for Prowers County with 5,545 ballots cast from 6,840 eligible voters.

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper received 1,565,775 statewide ballots against the incumbent Republican U.S. Senator, Cory Gardner’s 1,280,289. Prowers County residents cast 3,933 for Gardner for a second, four-year term and 1,417 for Hickenlooper.

Ken Buck, the republican candidate for the state’s 4th Congressional District, defeated challenger and political newcomer, Ike McCorkle by a vote of 162,263 to 262,621.   Buck also won the county with 3,976 versus the tally for McCorkle at 1,269.

The contest for state senator for District 35 went to Cleave Simpson, a Republican, who will replace term-limited Larry Crowder. The county vote had Simpson winning, 3,589 to 1,483 for the Democratic challenger, Carlos Lopez.

The Republican party also took District 64 with incumbent Richard Holtorf holding on to the seat he assumed from Kimmi Lewis last year, 3,782 to 1,511 for long-time rancher, Dean Ormiston, Democrat from Baca County.

Parade of Lights, 2020


2020 Lamar Chamber Parade of Lights Set for December 11th

The Lamar Chamber of Commerce has announced there will be an annual Parade of Lights this year, on December 11th. There will be no specific theme as in past years, and because of the current pandemic, there will be some restrictions on how the parade will be conducted. There will be NO exceptions to the safeguards that are being developed. A different parade route through the city will be determined for floats and for viewing availabilities.


Council Moves Forward on Housing Projects

Lamar City Administrator, Steve Kil, reviewed projects currently underway for Lamar during the council’s November 9th meeting.

The Colorado Partnership for Education and Rural Revitalization, or COPERR, to benefit both construction trades education and housing needs in southeastern Colorado has been awarded $5 million from Colorado Attorney General, Phil Weiser. The funds will be used by Lamar Community College, Otero Junior College and Trinidad State Junior College to develop skilled trades programs. The program is funded through money the state received from the national mortgage settlement; a settlement reached in 2012 after 49 states sued mortgage servicers after the 2008 financial crisis. The communities will make use of those skills to improve blighted housing and housing shortages in the participating communities.

Kil said the city and LCC have partnered to address these concerns in Lamar and Prowers County. The college is seeking an ‘On-Site Instructor and Project Manager” for the COPERR program with a review of applicants set for November 13th and final interviews before the month’s end. He added an intergovernmental agreement is being developed, first with the state attorney general’s office and once that has been concluded, a separate IGA will be offered between the college and the city.

DeWitt Excavating Handles the Demolition

Council and Cobblestone Sign Construction Contract

The City of Lamar and Cobblestone Development, LLC are moving forward with plans for a franchise motel to be constructed over the next two years. The economic development incentive agreement has been approved and the council authorized Mayor Kirk Crespin to sign during their meeting on November 23rd. The motel project would be located on the west side of North Main Street in the general area of the Lamar Inn and Cow Palace Inn. The incentive package includes assistance with certain site development elements including street construction, water and sewer lines, electrical line, pad mount and transformer and building permit. The total package is estimated at $249,260. Other incentives include rebates on property and city sales taxes as well as some utility cost rebates. Those offers have duration spans of from five to 11 years based on the life of the Urban Renewal Agreement, developed for property improvement taxing purposes. Kil said the total incentives are estimated at $1,334,944 over the life of the agreement.

Kil said another portion of the incentive agreement includes an easement running east-west from Main Street to Sword Street between the two properties of Lamar Inn and Cow Palace Inn. “The timeline for construction begins with the first construction equipment drop-off on March, 2021. The agreement sets a substantial completion date of April 2022 and the purchase date will be mid-December of this year,” he told the council. The new motel will offer 52 rooms using approximately 32,000 square feet. Other Cobblestone Inns are located in Eads and in Lakin, Kansas.


Lamar City Sales Tax Revenue Continues Yearly Climb

Residents are still spending money. The September 2020 revenue report from the City of Lamar in November shows collections are up 4.25% for a gain of $13,461 with Use Tax up 2.22% for an increase of $5,911 over last year. Total Sales and Use Tax collections were up 5.5% for an increase of $19,055. 2020 collections were at $365,469 compared to 2019 at $346,413.

Year to Date collections also fared well. City Sales Tax revenue was up 7.46%, Use Tax was up 15.45% and Total Sales and Use Tax collections were up 7.22% for an increase of $230,657 over last year at this same time. YTD for 2020 is $3,424,228 compared to 2019 at $3,193,571.

There was a mix of losses and gains comparing the 12 retail and service categories, year-to-date with an increase for Building Materials and Grocery sales while there was a drop for Restaurants, Apparel and Department stores.

Front row Left to Right: Jayman Duran, Jaxyn Duran, Jayce Kisamore-Saldana.
Back row Left to Right: Chloee Kisamore, Weston Kisamore, Leilanie Kisamore, Bill Kisamore

Lamar Family Honored by State for Adoption Month

In celebration of National Adoption Month and to encourage more Coloradans to adopt from foster care, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) will recognize five adoptive families from across the state in a virtual celebration on Nov. 7. One of the five families being honored lives in Lamar.

Bill and Leilanie Kisamore became certified kinship foster parents in 2015 when their two grandsons needed a safe place to live. At the time, they were the only certified foster family in Prowers county. Over the last five years, they have continued to open their home to children in foster care. Bill and Leilanie have a full house with six kids all age 10 or younger, including their two grandsons, two siblings in foster care and the two children, Chloe and Weston, whom they adopted in 2018. Their days start early with school, work, appointments and lots of extracurricular activities in this busy and active family. With more than 30 years of parenting experience, Bill and Leilanie have also become mentors to many of the biological parents of the children they have fostered as well as to other kinship and foster families in their small, close-knit community.

COVID-19 Cases Move Prowers to Level Red (Severe Risk)

There have been 124 new pandemic cases in Prowers County since November 11th prompting the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to move the risk factor for Covid from orange to red. Prowers County is one of five with the new designation this week due to the climb in COVID-19 cases.

The Prowers County Public Health & Environment Department issued a press release stating that at 5 p.m. Sunday, the county will move to the new restrictions because of the number of COVID-19 cases in the community. The PCPHE states Prowers now has 436 cases with 15 hospitalizations and 11 deaths.

The three age groups which are impacted with the greatest Covid numbers remains those between the ages of 40 to 70 years.





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