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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • New building enhances lake maintenance

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  • The latest addition to the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake is rapidly taking shape on the northwest side of the lake.
    A new maintenance building is under construction and will provide some badly needed storage and office space at the lake. It should be completed within the next couple of weeks.
    Nick Birdsong, lake supervisor, said the lake equipment and tools had outgrown the current trailer house and a much bigger, permanent facility was needed.
    The new building will be 30 feet by 50 feet and provide ample space for all the equipment, Birdsong said.
    The building will feature two garage doors, one on the north and one on the east to allow easy access to the lawn mower, tractor and other equipment.
    "It will be nice to have a shop. We can keep equipment out there rather than run all the way into town," Birdsong said.
    Besides the storage area for tools and equipment, the building will feature a heated shop area to do repairs and any work that needs to be done.
    Along with the storage and workspace, the building will house a permanent supervisors office.
    The supervisor is responsible for the orderly operation of the lake by answering questions, handling reservations, collecting money and doing whatever is necessary to keep the lake in good operating order, Birdsong said.
    With an on-site office, it will provide a better opportunity to interact with the public and help make their stay at the lake a happy one.
    For many years, the lake supervisor worked out of a temporary trailer that was parked at the lake entrance. This provided the supervisor with limited facilities to assist the public.
    The addition of the maintenance and office building is part of the on-going effort to add improvements to the lake and attract more visitors to this unique activity in Pratt County.
    "I'm excited to have it," Birdsong said. "It's great to have another asset to the lake. It's something that has been needed for 10 years."
    Funding for the building is dispensed though the lake committee. For several years, the lake committee has established many additions, including the new maintenance and office building, in order to improve the visitors' experience at the lake.
    Among the other improvements are new restroom facilities, new playground equipment, improvements to the camping area including pavement, water and electrical hookups, additional trees, a walking path through the cattails, shelters on the islands, fire rings and an access directly to the Ninnescah River for non-motorized craft.
    The lake features fishing and camping levees, a central island with electricity, a recently added fish cleaning area, restrooms and a drive-through RV camping area with a dump station.

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