Pratt's Lemon Park will be bigger by 2.6 acres with the purchase of a property that runs along the north edge of the park. The parcel includes several small buildings, and was most recently used as a lot for horses. Owner Karen Konkel placed a stone marker in memory of her late father, Frank Konkel, which much remain on the property in perpetuity.
Blake Himmelwright and his cousin, Mary Jo McCoy, have donated $18,000 towards the purchase price of $22,000. The city will be responsible for $4,000, plus closing costs, which City Attorney Ken Van Blaricum estimated to be less than $1,000.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the city," Mayor Bill Hlavachick said at a meeting of the City Commission Monday evening.
Konkel has 60 days from closing to remove anything she wants from the property.
Himmelwright was not present at the meeting, but stated in a letter, "I am excited about the purchase and look forward to discussing future plans for this parcel."
In other business, the Commission:
• Gave approval for the Pratt Area Humane Society to hold a 5K Color Run on June 1, starting and ending in Lemon Park. Participants will be sprinkled with colored cornstarch at five stations. Most of the color is easily removed by wind and water, Jackie Hogan told commissioners.
• Approved the use of Sixth Street Park for the City Fire Department's third annual car show on May 24 and 25.
• Approved the purchase of a new sanitation truck from Midwest Truck Equipment, Inc., Wichita, for $138,353. The bid is not the highest, nor the lowest, Russ Rambat, public works superintendent said, but he believes it will last longer than "entry level" equipment, and is available in Wichita, while other bidders were out of state.
In the open agenda portion of the meeting, Nelson Burrell objected to what he termed an "attack" on Commissioner Karen Detwiler from another commissioner at the last meeting regarding city contacts with businesses to explain a proposed beautification project. As a result, Burrell conducted a small survey of of his own, and recommended that each commissioner "needs to get out there" to listen to public opinion.