Prowers County Commissioners had Full Agenda

Prowers County Courthouse



The Prowers County Commissioners met Tuesday, August 9th in routine session and approved various agenda action items through the day before attending the local VA Town Forum held that afternoon at the County SOS Center on East Olive Street.

To that end, the commissioners noted in a letter to U.S. Congressman, Michael Bennet, a letter supported by them and all 64 counties in Colorado, to keep rural VA clinics open in Burlington, Lamar, La Junta and Salida.  The letter stated that a total of 12,000 veterans could be impacted by the closures with almost 2,000 veterans now using those facilities as their primary health care provider.  The letter added that the loss of VA providers would impact private healthcare facilities due to the shortage of medical staff, the veteran would have to absorb the cost of treatment if not authorized for care by the VA and longer and costly road trips would be needed for specialty treatment in outlying areas of the state.  It was noted at the Tuesday forum, the study to close the four clinics had been put on pause at this time.

The commissioners also signed a letter of support over their concern to the balance of payments made to farmers under the CRP program which was forwarded to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack as well as state and national representatives serving Colorado.  The letter outlined the need for the CRP to deal with the effects of the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s across the mid-west.  Prowers County and others in the state have been dealing with another dry era and constant soil erasure.  CRP rates paid to Prowers County farmers have been reduced from $30 an acre to $13 for highly erodible soils.  However, in some states not being impacted by a drought, payments are up to $311 per acre in Illinois.  This status now has local farmers considering taking their lands out of CRP status to begin planting crops in an attempt to survive financially.  The commissions have urged officials to correct the payments with the highest rates allocated to those areas with the highest erodibility.

Another letter noting another environment concern was sent to Doug Jamison of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding asbestos exposure in our area.  A meeting was held this past July detailing how the Lamar Inn sustained severe damage during a major windstorm last December and the owner was without insurance coverage, making funding for a clean-up of the property very difficult.  The letter urged the CDPHE to work with the owner to determine any funding opportunities to alleviate the potential continued spread of asbestos in the city and county.  The commissioners volunteered any additional information on the local and regional impact that might spur the EPA or CDPHE to action to mitigate the situation.

The commissioners ratified approval of an email poll for an agreement among the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Southeast Council of Governments and Prowers County to replace the county’s pavilion HID fixtures and lighting to the LED fixtures and lights at an estimated cost of $8,786.  Approval was also given to buy an additional corral system at the fairgrounds for an estimated cost of $9,846.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Consumer IssuesCountyEnvironmentFeaturedHealth


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