2022 Year in Review – November


Here are some of the highlights of the year which had an impact on county residents

Ballot Box

Lamar Ballot Question 300 Defeated by Voters UNOFFICIAL NUMBERS

1,300 ballots were delivered to the County Clerk’s Office as of the close of voting at 7pm Tuesday, November 8th so the outcome may change.

Question 300 was intended to alter the City of Lamar’s home charter rule. Initiated through a petition, the question prohibited various actions and sales of marijuana and marijuana related materials or accessories within the city limits to those under the age of 21. Proponents cited several reasons for the yes vote including statewide declining sales tax revenue from marijuana sales, the need to ration water supplies in Lamar if commercial growing is allowed and increased costs for law enforcement to deal with problems stemming from marijuana use. An information brochure pointed out the new ordinance would not prohibit personal use, medical use or statewide household marijuana plant limits, but would prohibit dispensaries and grow facilities as well as sale of marijuana accessories.

The vote was 869 in favor and 1,059 against, so the Question failed to pass.

There was opposition to the question, based on claims it was basically unconstitutional and some of the restrictions were too broad based. Colorado State marijuana laws were passed in November 2012, when Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 legalizing recreational marijuana possession for adults. The measure also required the state to establish a regulatory structure for retail marijuana. However, Lamar had been under a city council issued moratorium against legalized sales of marijuana for over a decade despite surrounding communities, such as Las Animas, approving the sale following the 2012 election.

Two years ago, Lamar voters approved the legalized sale of recreational marijuana in the town, but because of an error determining the number of petition signatures required to place the ballot before the voters, a local court determined the results were not valid.

by Russ Baldwin



Julie Vice and Friend

Lights Out at The Lassie

Seventy-four years of customer service came to an end with the final Whale of a Sale at The Lassie at 212 South Main Street in Lamar this past Saturday, November 12th.

Julie Vice, daughter of the owner, Beverly Augustine who passed away in February of this year, closed the doors and turned the lock on the ladies’ fashion store which had been in operation for the past 74 years.  Few will remember that the building was once a grocery store or a cobbler shop in the early 1900s, but many will remember the unique woman who owned and operated The Lassie for over seven decades.

Beverly Augustine offered a level of personal service that has become rare with the passage of time.  A staunch supporter of Main Street businesses and the local Chamber of Commerce, Beverly offered personal service, to the point of getting on the phone and calling a customer to say, “I have something that’s just come in that I know you’d love.  Why don’t you drop in and take a look?”  There was also a sign posted that recommended you take home an item and try it on.  If it’s not back in four days’ time, we’ll assume it’s a purchase.

Decades ago, the Lamar Chamber conducted a survey asking area residents what mattered most to them when they decided to make a purchase.  There’s little doubt the top three have changed with the passage of time:  Service-Savings and Selection.  Beverly Augustine at The Lassie always met that standard.

Julie Vice said the store will be on offer to interested buyers, but just not yet.  Without being specific, she did mention that the next owner won’t be just a person who meets the asking price, but in all likelihood, will have to have some of Beverly’s sales philosophy in mind.
By Russ Baldwin




Senior Center to Transfer Operations to City of Lamar

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: Chamber of CommerceCity of LamarCountyFeatured


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