Senior Center to Transfer Operations to City of Lamar

SOS & PATS Center


The Lamar City Council and Prowers County Commissioners came to an understanding for the continued operation of the Community Resource Center on East Olive Street following a joint work session Monday, November 7th. Both groups contribute financial support to maintain its operation, but there will be future changes that will shift responsibilities from the county to the city.

The building, owned by the city, provides a multitude of services which include the county’s Prowers Area Transit headquarters, the local Workforce center rents offices on the western end of the building, Sage Nutrition runs the kitchen and provides meals and the monthly commodities distribution uses its kitchen facilities to store perishable foods.  Each day, Monday through Friday, some 20-30 senior citizens enjoy daily social activities as well as use of a computer room with library-donated equipment and several pool tables are available in another room.

The county has been constructing a bus barn along East Hickory Street, adjacent to the Amtrak train tracks.  As a cost saving move, the PATS operation will be transferred to the barn, ending the county’s core financial involvement at the Center by the end of 2022.  This move will obligate the costs of operation to the city, mostly through janitorial staffing which isn’t in the city’s 2023 budget.  The largest county grant expires at the end of June while two other grants offer different annual cycles. The county budgets $2,500 a year for each of the four senior centers in the county and uses these three grants to offset the cost of yearly operation.

Darren Glover, PATS Operations Director, currently applies for three annual grants which helps to sustain the Center and he said that with county’s approval, he will help the city with future applications during the transition process going into the new year.

Both parties agreed the Center is vital to the senior citizens in the area, evidenced by statements from Brian Settles, current president of the Senior Citizens Board, who attended the meeting.  While there are various legalities involved in the transition process, the city and the county agreed to keep the Center functioning as is, until March first of next year.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarCountyEmploymentFeaturedRecreation


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