December 2021 Prowers Journal Year in Review


Reconstructed Barracks and Water Tower


Camp Amache Moving Toward NPS Designation

Camp Amache, the Japanese-American Incarceration Camp in Granada during WWII, is moving closer to being considered a National Park Service site through the bi-partisan efforts of U.S. Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet and U.S. Representatives Neguse and Buck.

The Prowers County Commissioners asked that their thanks for the recent efforts be offered to Senator Hickenlooper during a scheduled update meeting with the senator’s regional director, Kari Linker.

Hickenlooper outlined a bi-partisan bill in early October before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee along with Senator Bennet.  The bill was endorsed and supported by Colorado Representatives Joe Neguse and Ken Buck and asks that the Amache National Historic site become part of the National Park Service.  A hearing will have to be held by the Resources Committee before it can be introduced as a bill.
By Russ Baldwin

Official Seal City of Lamar


Lamar City Council Wraps Up 2021 with Final Meeting of the Year

City Treasurer, Kristin McCrea, provided a rundown for the Lamar City Council during its December 13th meeting, on some of the grants received by the city for a variety of municipal projects, totaling $7.1 million during their lifespans.  Among those listed was $2.9 in total for the city’s water/wastewater improvement projects that have spanned several years, the City’s Main Street Revitalization Plan, various sidewalk improvements, some of which are still in progress, airport and taxiway improvements, GoCO and Inspire grants including new soccer fields at Escondido Park, playground equipment and a kayak building at North Gateway Ponds, a Brownsfield assessment grant application which will lay the groundwork for refurbishing the Main Street Café and several others.  “I’d like to be able to review these with the council for next year when we can prioritize them according to future funding for the city,” she explained.
By Russ Baldwin


Drought Persists and Deepens across South Central and Southeast Colorado

November of 2021 was a very warm and dry month across most of south central and southeast Colorado, as well as the state as a whole, with November of 2021 coming in as the 3rd warmest and 11th driest November on record in Colorado. Despite a good dose of mountain precipitation over the past week, the persistent dry and warm weather experienced from the late summer through the fall has allowed for drought conditions to persist and deepen across south central and southeast Colorado.  Extreme drought (D3) conditions are indicated across southern Baca County into extreme southeastern Las Animas County.  Severe drought (D2) conditions are depicted across the rest of Baca County, southern Prowers County, southeastern Bent County and eastern portions of Las Animas County.   Moderate drought (D1) conditions are indicated across Kiowa County, the rest of Crowley County, central Las Animas County, Otero County, and the rest of Bent and Prowers Counties.


Housing Construction Project Moves Forward for Southeast Colorado

Sixty-three houses in six counties in southeast Colorado are slated for construction, a project developed by SCEDD, Southern Colorado Economic Development District using a portion of federal ARP funds which were distributed to communities across the country earlier this year.

Stephanie Gonzales, Executive Director of SECED, Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development, told The Prowers Journal that the project could not have come together without the support and participation of all the counties and cities involved in the housing project.  “We are hoping this leads to an interest from local contractors and developers to create a new and much needed housing development project in this region,” she explained.

The Housing Oversight Committee has approved the plans and pricing of the houses submitted by the developer, Joel Wisian owner of Bywater Development, LLC, whose concept was selected by the Committee and SCEDD.  The houses will be constructed on purchase once the credit of the buyer has been established through local lending agencies and the USDA.  There are several plans for the houses which offer two bathrooms and either two or three bedrooms as well as a porch area to the front or sides of the building.  Buyers can opt in, for an additional cost, to have other amenities included in their purchase, such as a garage.  The selections will be available on the SECED website as well as additional information for financing by mid-December.  A house will not be built until the buyer has established approved credit by a lender.
By Russ Baldwin

Profile on High School Building

RE-2 Committee Formed to Address Mascot Logo-Name Concerns

Lamar RE-2 Superintendent, Chad Krug, told The Prowers Journal there wasn’t much new for Savage mascot developments under a bill passed by the Colorado legislature earlier this year, as the school board prepares to develop a diversified committee to seek out recommendations for the mandated change.

“We’re still hoping to achieve our first option of maintaining the Savage name with an emphasis on the word being used as an adjective rather than a noun,” he explained.  The district is working with Jostens, a school yearbook publisher which can offer expertise in language and rebranding options through the spring up to March of next year.  “We will need to be able to find a logo which can offer a working blend of the past to lead into the school’s future, and be acceptable to the Commission on Indian Affairs,” Krug explained.

By Russ Baldwin

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