The Pratt City Commission approved a replat of the lots one and two of Sycamore Addition that could facilitate development of a new business east of Maurices and Hibbett Sports on East First Street. The property is owned by a company based in Wisconsin, City Manager Dave Howard said, and he indicated "they may have someone interested in one of the lots, but they're not giving anything out yet."
Replatting will straighten the drainage and make the properties more attractive, he said. Entrance to the lots is from Fincham Street, rather than directly from U.S. 54.
Permission was granted for the use of Centennial Park from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday for a fund-raiser for the children of Alexandria Duran, who was killed July 24. Ed Gimpel, senior vice commander for Earl H. Ellis VFW Post 62, described the event that will be co-sponsored by a Stop the Violence organization from Wichita that is providing food and grills. A Wichita motorcycle club will also assist. Gimpel, who is also a Pratt Police officer, said he had checked both organizations. The American Legion building will serve as an alternate location in case of unfavorable weather.
Also approved was Pratt Furniture and Carpet's bid of $17,834 for new carpet in portions of the Pratt Municipal Building and the Pratt Community Center. Recreation Director Bruce Pinkall explained that the carpet would be in two-foot squares, which will allow for easy replacement if needed, rather than roll goods. He hopes that the work can be done before the holidays, although he acknowledged some problems with working around schedules at the Community Center, which is in use five days a week for Friendship Meals.
Howard reported that he and other staff members had looked at the Pilot Express train tracks in Sixth Street Park and identified areas where problems are occurring. He is in the process of getting bids from a local contractor to replace all the treated wood ties with metal-reinforced wood ties, secured by railroad spikes.
He also said city crews might do the work, concentrating first on the problem spots.
"We can do a good enough job," Howard said.
Mayor Jeff Taylor confirmed, "it won't be just a get-by."
Howard said he is also getting information for the parking lot project requested earlier this month for the Vernon Filley Art Museum.
Commissioner Karen Detwiler, who with her husband John, donated the property to the museum, reminded him that they stipulated in the donation that the museum foundation, "would not be coming to the taxpayers or the city for funds."
Pinkall reported that the American Legion Midwest Regional tournament was successfully completed. The teen center, Barron Theatre, Blythe Family Fitness and Pratt Community College all made facilities available to players and families when play was halted by rain.
"I heard nothing but wonderful things about the tournament," Commissioner Lucus Kumberg commented.
Police Chief Gary Myers reported that so far this year, his officers have worked 7,500 active cases, not including calls for service, and that he expects the number to increase to 12,000 by year's end. The department has 12 working officers, not including himself and the assistant chief, so that figures out to 1,000 cases per officer. He also noted an increase in juvenile activity, and hoped that would decline once school starts.