Prowers Journal Annual Year-in-Review, June 2021


June 2021 Year in Review

Lamar November Ballot Questions Taking Shape

Lamar City Clerk, Linda Williams, was directed to inform the Prowers County Clerk and Recorder of the city’s intention to participate in a coordinated election set for November 2, 2021.  The city will have five vacancies on the council with one in Ward 1, one in Ward 2, two in Ward 3 and the mayor seat will also be vacant.  The City of Lamar, she said, may introduce one or two questions regarding Tabor limitations on the ballot as well.

Those council persons affected are Manuel Tamez in Ward 1, who, if he decided to run for re-election, will be up for a four-year term ending in 2025.  Oscar Riley is up for re-election in Ward 2, also with a four-year term, as well as both representatives from Ward 3, Rafael Rodriguez for four years and Joe Gonzales for a two-year term.  Mayor Kirk Crespin’s term of office is two years.  Any council person wishing to run for re-election may begin the petition process between August 2nd-23rd and write-in candidates will have until 4pm on August 25th to file an affidavit with their intent to run for election.

One item that may appear before the November voters is a question to allow retail marijuana dispensaries within city limits.  The council discussed a petition initiated by a private concern, SOCO out of Pueblo, to initiate a ballot question.  Clerk Williams said the group has provided her with the necessary signatures on their petition.  “They needed at least 5% of registered voters from the 2020 November election, which is about 225 signatures.  I received and confirmed all of them, so they can move forward if they want.”  She said the next step is for the council to develop an ordinance pertaining to the ballot question for a first reading at the July 12th council meeting.  Mayor Kirk Crespin said he has reviewed the city’s initial ordinance from 2010 regarding marijuana use in the city and proposed a committee to review it and contact local communities who have legalized its recreational use for an overview of how it’s working for them.

A research committee set up by the council to investigate the pros and cons of marijuana sales in neighboring communities made a preliminary report during the city council meeting, Monday, June 28th.

The council has until July 12th to develop a specific ballot question for a first reading for the election.  A commercial group, SOCO, has secured enough valid signatures through a petition to have a question, which will be written by the city, placed before the voters this fall.  The council wants to be very specific as to what that question asks.
By Russ Baldwin


Jo Ann McEndree, Southeast Colorado CattleWoman of the Year

Jo Ann McEndree was recently awarded CattleWoman of the Year by Southeast Colorado CattleWomen for her long-term dedication to Southeast and to Colorado CattleWomen. She has been Southeast treasurer for many years and jumps in to help with all activities. She recently completed her second two-year term as Colorado CattleWomen president. She is a 30 year 4-H leader, has been a Southeast Junior Colorado Cattlemen’s Association advisor since the early ‘90’s and supports many school organizations in Baca County. In 2014, Bent-Prowers awarded her an Honorary Life Membership in recognition of her work for the beef industry, and in 2015 she was named a Colorado Master Farm Homemaker. Jo Ann was named CattleWoman of the Year in 1998. Her continuing work for the beef industry earns her the title for a second time!


Demolition Continues for Lamar Repowering Project

Lamar Light Plant Superintendent, Houssin Hourieh, noted the Lamar Repowering Project boiler was pulled down by Jackson Demolition crews on Monday, June 7th.  Maple, First and Second Streets were closed off at that point.  The demolition crew cut the southern structural columns and pulled to the southwest using steel cables and excavator equipment.  This brough the remaining support structure down on its side where it continues to be dismantled and shipped away.  All boiler salvaged material should be cleared from the site by the July 4th weekend.  Hourieh told the board that the cleared area, which is owned by the City of Lamar, will be used for equipment storage.  The superintendent also said electrical work for North Fork Farms, the owners of the former coal storage domes is still underway and Light Plant crews are working with their electricians on future connections, once the grain storage units and the complex are ready to be powered up.
By Russ Baldwin



Lamar Airport Operating as Regional Facility

Clear, blue skies and mild temperatures this past Saturday morning, June 19th, made a perfect moment to enjoy a free pancake breakfast, view various airplanes and watch the ribbon cutting for the dedication as the Lamar Municipal Airport is now officially recognized by the FAA as a regional facility.

There have been changes at the airport over the past year, as the City of Lamar has assumed operations as the Fixed Base Operator, while the former managers, Eric and Tanya McSwan have been hired by the city to continue to run the day-to-day operations.

A new, temporary sign was displayed announcing the municipal airport has transitioned to the Southeast Colorado Regional Municipal Airport.  Lamar Mayor, Kirk Crespin, explained the new airport designation by the Federal Aviation Administration will be officially posted and recognized in future publication and maps which indicates to the aviation world, the Lamar airport is geared to a higher degree of services on a regional basis.

Crespin said the city will present a plan to include Lamar in a flight service that runs from Dodge City, KS into Denver.  “This airport can offer a great economic growth potential to the Lamar area, and the council is going to pursue those options,” Crespin added.
By Russ Baldwin

Troy Manor Motel


Troy Manor, Last Look


Before the end of June, the Troy Manor will be just a passing memory.  The former motel on South Main Street in Lamar had been slated for some time for demolition, but it was only after the usual red tape was taken care of that the final portion of the demolition could take place.

The City of Lamar had given thought to demolish the abandoned structure as far back as April, 2011 when Bobby Ward, the Chief Building Inspector at that time, met with officials from Colorado Brownsfields Association out of Littleton, Colorado, to discuss the ramifications of removing the building.  There was concern regarding asbestos content as a hazardous waste material that would have to be dealt with.

The concern remained the same until available funding was secured by the city to have a thorough and safe demolition begin.  This past winter, a professional firm was hired by the city which isolated the motel units and began working on removing the impacted areas away from the elements or local residents.  Once that process had been completed, city crews completed the demolition under safe conditions.  The Troy Manor is one of several buildings slated for removal, but the city can only move forward as revenues allow.
By Russ Baldwin





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