PEP Shares News of Broadband Expansion and Multi-Team Babe Ruth Tournament

Prowers Economic Prosperity received several guests during the organization’s monthly board meeting on Monday, April 17th.

Jimmy Bencomo explained his need for volunteers this summer to help organize and run a Babe Ruth state tournament which will bring several hundred participants of all ages and their families to Lamar between July 7th and 10th.  “We’re going to have games underway for from 30 to 40 teams at the sports fourplex as well as Merchant Park during that period and we anticipate a lot of people staying in town for the games,” he explained, adding, that Lamar will be pretty much packed!  The annual Windmill Classic will be pushed back by one week to accommodate the Babe Ruth schedule.

Bencomo said he intends to develop other games with a proposed ‘border war’ with teams out of Garden City, Kansas in which each state would field four teams per age division and gain a point per win, mostly, he said, for bragging rights.

Kevin Brandon and Jon Saunders, representing SECPA/SECOM, described the company’s efforts to offer affordable and high-speed broadband services to southeast Colorado.  They highlighted a three-tier level of fiber optic categories that are in use to connect states (Long Haul), communities for town-to-town service (Middle Mile), and connecting homes and businesses to the internet with (Final Mile) opportunities.  Final Mile, where the emphasis on expansion is currently taking place, includes interconnections among Las Animas, Holly, Springfield, Pritchett and Kim.

Board members approved several minor changes to their by-laws which involved some clarification of terms, membership designees and explanation for the make-up of the PEP Executive Committee, given some past members places of employment.  County Commissioner, Tom Grasmick, made the case for eliminating that committee, stating that the complete board membership should be sufficient to bring matters to a vote.  His suggestion will be taken under advisement for future consideration.

The board voted to approve an incentive funding request from the Colorado Drink Company.  The owner, Kolby Brubacher, is upgrading his beverage service to include frozen drink selections and the board funding of $1,000, will pay for a portion of the new equipment.  A portion of the criteria for the vote was his hiring of three new parttime employees.  Reimbursement will be based on the submission of bills.  The board agreed that as a condition of receiving future incentive grants, a recipient must become a PEP member selecting from a level of associated fees.

PEP Executive Director, Cheryl Sanchez, noted she continues to visit with the Wiley Steering Committee in their efforts to secure funding for outdoor recreational equipment for the town, following a community-wide survey of needs.  She said the board will receive a final report upon its completion.  Sanchez was selected as an OEDIT delegate to attend an economic development conference in Washington, DC next month.  “Using the available OEDIT app, I’ve already booked several meetings with representatives who could be interested in locating a business in Prowers County,” she stated.

Sanchez listed some works in progress around the county including development of two businesses on Highway 50 East, Taylor Implement and the Pipeyard, both within yards of each other, is making construction progress with an expectation of opening in June.  A ‘soft’ opening for the Cow Palace is hoped for in May at this point and the PEP office has received some walk-in visitors inquiring about developing a form of grow-your-own operation.  She said the monthly PEP agenda will feature Harvey Greenwood from the Workforce Center.

Gloria Madrid, representative of TA-76, the former Pilot Truck Stop, said her business anticipates a grand opening for KFC and Charlie’s Cheesesteak by July 4th as construction on those enterprises is just getting underway this week.  She said area veterans will enjoy a gift as well, “During the grand opening, veterans will receive a $15 gift certificate when they show their ID for free food from Dunkin Donuts, KFC or the steak shop.  She extended an invitation to the community on May 9th at 1pm to attend a donation hosted by TA’s parent company, Las Vegas Petroleum to the Prowers County Sheriff’s Department for Shield 616, bullet-proof vests.

The next PEP board meeting will be held at noon on Monday, May 15th at their offices at 223 South Main Street in Lamar.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeatured


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