Prowers Journal, Annual Year-in-Review-January 2021

Light Plant Repowering Project Under Demolition


January 2021 Year in Review

Backup Council Discusses Owner Accountability for Vacant Buildings

Lamar City Council members discussed an ordinance, suggested by City Administrator, Steve Kil, that can help officials identify the owners of vacant buildings and the level of the structure’s current code compliance.  A 2020 report generated by the city indicated there are over 100 residential and commercial properties in Lamar that are in very bad shape.  Kil and the council discussed an ordinance during the council’s January 25th meeting, to set up a program to identify and register vacant residential and commercial buildings to determine any needed repairs.  Part of the process, according to Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin, is asking the owners if they have any specific plans for the property in the near or far future.  Would it be eventually upgraded, torn down, sold, left alone…etc?  A comprehensive listing can help owners keep their properties within code regulations and help speed the rehabilitation of the vacant buildings.  Councilperson, Anne Marie Crampton recommended prioritizing commercial properties first rather than residential properties or vacated lots.

By Russ Baldwin


City Sales Tax Revenue Ending Year on Positive Gain

Despite the drop in sales tax revenue for this past November, the Lamar City Sales Tax report showed a continued cumulative gain in revenue for the January, 2021 report.

City Sales Tax collected this past November was down 2.65% or a drop of $7,921.  Use Tax collections were up 12.22% for a gain of $2,599 and ‘Other’ collections was off 96.82% from the year before with 2019 collections at $5,865 compared to only $186 for 2020.  Total Sales and Use Tax collections was off 3.37% for this period with a drop of $11,007 from last year.  Total 2020 collections for November were $315.485.48 compared to $326,485.75 for 2019.

Year-to-Date collections were up 6.62 for City Sales Tax with a gain of $231,054.  Use Tax collections were up 18.20% for a gain of $51,629 and ‘Other’ collections were off 131.23% or $30,429 from the previous year.  Total Sales Tax collections were $4,050,725.94 for 2020 and $3,798,471.54 for 2019.


Consolidated Mail Center Officially Opens in Granada

Members of the Granada Trustees, local school board and Prowers County Commissioners were on hand for a streaming and live-time ribbon cutting ceremony today, January 14th, for the Consolidated Return Mail Center in Granada.

Pete Hernandez, the operations director of the mail center, said 18 employees have been training since early October to receive their first load of mail which arrived on December 1st.  The facility is located adjacent to the Granada Town Park and is expected to receive roughly 5,000 pieces of undeliverable mail each day.  “We expect to handle about 1.8 million pieces of mail each year,” Hernandez said.

By Russ Baldwin


Lamar Repowering Project Nearing End of Story

The Lamar City Council and Arkansas River Power Authority came to an agreement on the Third Amendment to Mutual and Release Settlement Agreement for a portion of the Lamar Repowering Project in late January.  The coal domes and related equipment on the property north of East Maple Street will be repurposed to allow for the location of a new business.  In consideration of leaving all the buildings and equipment, the new amendment provides that ARPA will pay the City of Lamar $511,000 (repurposing funds), to be used to demolish or redevelop the property.  In turn, the city releases ARPA from any liability or responsibility related to the site.  The city is directed to use these funds on the site and in no other location.  A proposal is being submitted to the city for Northfork Farms, LLC to operate a fertilizer and grain business at the location.

Jackson Demolition, the demolition contractor for the LRP, mobilized to the project site on January 11. Perimeter fencing around the demolition site has been installed and the process for removal of universal waste has begun. The Contractor is awaiting the demolition permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), which will allow it to begin demolition of the Air-Cooled Condenser, Baghouse, and Steam Turbine. The schedule anticipates completion of the demolition by mid-to late summer.

By Russ Baldwin


Lamar Chamber of Commerce Board of Officers for 2021

The Lamar Chamber of Commerce, board of directors, has been selected for 2021.  Jerry Roseberry will be President with Gabrielle Hammer as Vice-President.  Melonee Marcum will serve as Secretary and Talle Harmon will assume the Treasurer duties.

The officers for this year are:  former President, Clifford Boxley, Holly Burton, Ginger Coberley, April Forgue, Ashly Melgosa, Jose Ramos, Lisa Schwarte, Tyler Thrall and Joe Zapata.  Valerie Baldwin is the office manager.  The chamber board meets the third Thursday of every month at noon.  The Chamber provides a website updated with current and developing activities at
By Russ Baldwin


Dr. Linda Lujan among Community College of Denver Honorees Receiving Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award Recognition

(Denver, CO) – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. exemplified community leadership and made it the cornerstone of his civil rights ministry. He inspired people to continue his work in their communities. In the spirit of Dr. King, Community College of Denver (CCD) honors three community leaders.

About the Honorees:

CCD Champion – Dr. Linda Lujan

Dr. Linda Lujan has been the president of Lamar Community College (LCC), a Hispanic-serving institution in rural Southeast Colorado. Prior to joining LCC, Lujan spent eleven years in administrative roles in the Maricopa Community College District in Arizona, where she served as president and CEO of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the district’s chief new ventures officer, and academic vice president of South Mountain Community College (a minority-serving institution). Before that, Lujan served eight years in administrative roles in CCCS, including academic dean of the Centers for Business & Technology and Health Sciences at the Community College of Denver (a minority-serving institution) and director of educational technology at Arapahoe Community College. She also served as a full-time faculty member in Computer Information Systems at Arapahoe Community College.

While Lujan had previously studied diversity, equity, and inclusion and was raising bi-racial children in Littleton with her late husband, Denver Police Captain, Edward Lujan, Jr., it wasn’t until she came to CCD she truly learned the richness, reward, and compelling need to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion work. She is humbled beyond words by this honor.

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