Pratt County Appraiser D.J. McMurry met with county commissioners to discuss what he intended to do in relation to changes in the classification of land for appraisal and the appropriate use of land.


Pratt County Appraiser D.J. McMurry met with county commissioners to discuss what he intended to do in relation to changes in the classification of land for appraisal and the appropriate use of land.

McMurry brought a copy of a draft letter for approval which he intends to send to Pratt County landowners whose property may be given a different classification in the near future.

“Each year, under Kansas law (K.S.A. 1988 supp. 79-1476), the appraiser’s office is required to determine the appropriate use of land and classify the land for appraisals,” said McMurry. To determine whether it should be classified as agricultural use or some other type of use, we physically look at the property.”

Residential, vacant lots, commercial, industrial, not-for-profit and other agricultural use values are very favorable to tax purposes, but to be classified as agricultural use, the land would have to be used as some type of agricultural use, according to McMurry.

For example, if the property is used in a rotation for hay, used for grazing purposes, or under a CRP contract.

“The problem is,” according to McMurry, “The federal government will not tell us if a property is under a CRP contract.

If upon review of your land, which we do every year, it appears the use of some of your land is not being used for agricultural use, it will require a change in the use classification of the property for agricultural use, to “other”, which is appraised at market value, and assessed at 30 percent, noted McMurry.

In other matters, commissioners:

• Approved the minutes of the last meeting with a minor spelling correction.

• Were informed the Hospital Financial Committee would be meeting on April 5. No time has been set for the meeting as yet.

• Were informed the new boilers at the courthouse were out-performing the old boilers by about 50 percent.

• Were asked to make sure the air-conditioning was working properly for the courtroom, because a trial was starting there this week.

• Were informed there was no luck finding a tire to match the free one found for the loader at the landfill. A new pair of radial tires was purchased from Cooper Tire and the old tires are being saved as spares.

• Learned, Clean Harbor would be in Pratt to pick up hazardous materials from Pratt, Kingman, Harper and Barber counties next week.

• Were informed by Randy Phillippi that Kirkham – Michael is still working on the design for the extension of the road at Cairo.

• Asked Richard Jarboe to provide the county with an estimate for the road construction plan for the proposed wind farm west of Iuka.

• Went into executive session to discuss personnel at Pratt County Veterans’ Lake.

• Were informed by Emergency Preparedness that a full-scale review of the county’s emergency preparedness plan, would be completed by the end of June.

• Approved Emergency Preparedness getting a Facebook account to disseminate information.

• Approved a bid from Brian Gumpenberger  ($1,100) to furnish and install guttering at the Probation and Parole Building. He was the sole bidder.

• Approved Stevens Constructions’ low bid of $2,718.84 to paint portions of the Probation and Parole Building. Schmidt Construction bid $4,620 and Ornsdorff Construction bid $4,343 on the proposed work specifications.

• Were informed of more problems with the water system at Pratt County Veterans Lake.

• Discussed laws relating to housing prisoners with medical problems, with the Pratt County Counselor Gordon Stull. Counties will be charged a reduced rate for prisoners and no prisoner can be released simply because he/she gets sick while in custody. Stull was to discuss issues with Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn and Pratt County Attorney Ken Van Blarcum.