The Pratt City Commission formally approved a project to redesign the sidewalks of downtown at its regular Monday meeting.

The Kansas Department of Transportation has awarded a grant for the nearly $1.1 million streetscape project, and will pick up 80 percent of the tab. The city will be obligated for about $320,000, to be paid from a tax collected by local hotels and motels.

A timeline calls for planning through 2013, and construction beginning in March 2014, with an expected closeout on Oct. 1.

The aggressive timeline is at the request of business owners who want the project wrapped up before the holiday season.

"It can be done," said Alan Luttrell, engineer for EBH, which has drawn preliminary plans.

In other business, commissioners

• approved the purchase of 16 self-contained breathing apparatus units from the City of Merriam at the cost of $14,400. New units are estimated at $7,000 to $7,500 each, Fire Chief David Kramer noted, and he presented a quote for the 12 of the same model of air pack from Dalmation Fire for $46,540. The Merriam air packs have all been tested and are in working order.

• approved a request from Pratt County Extension Master Gardener group to move the farmers' market to Fourth and Main.

• at the suggestion of Commissioner Karen Detwiler, named the access road through Sixth Street Park Shaffer Drive, in honor of Billy Joe Shaffer, who was an active volunteer in city parks and the nature trail at Lemon Park.