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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Community service coordinator resigns

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  • The operation of community service is getting reviewed following the resignation of Peggy Lee, community service coordinator.
    Pratt County Attorney Ken Van Blaricum told the Pratt County commissioners he didn't want the county to drop the program because it was an important tool for community corrections, court services and his office as county attorney.
    "We feel it is an important tool," Van Blaricum said.
    He said he thought Lee had gotten worn out from coordinating a program where no one showed up and she had to do the work so it would get done.
    The commissioners said they had not considered any action concerning community service but they wanted community corrections, court services and Van Blaricum to get together and review community service operations then get back with the commissioners with their findings.
    Van Blaricum said community service was an important part of the diversion program.
    Prior to her resignation, Lee had informed the commissioners that many times, the people the court had ordered to give community service simply did not show up.
    Van Blaricum said he was certain that some had chosen to go to prison rather than take the responsibility of doing community service.
    Commissioner Glenna Borho said the failure to show up for community service showed a lack of respect and a lack of responsibility. Of 119 on community service, only 24 had turned in hours.
    Van Blaricum said with some 100 people on diversion, his office did not have the time to call all of them and tell them they needed to get to their community service duty.
    Van Blaricum said community service was intended to help people feel they were being helpful to the community but it wasn't working and something had to be done.
    "It would take several hours a day to keep track of them all," he said.
    Assigning community service falls to the court system and community corrections. It is not Lee's responsibility to go get the people and make sure they fulfill their court obligations, Borho said.
    Van Blaricum said he would meet with David Wiley, Community Corrections director and Dale McFarland, former Court Services officer to review the issues facing community service and determine what action should be taken to improve the system.
    As part of their efforts to keep the county appraised on the status of the new hospital addition, Mike Patton, Pratt Regional Medical Center manager of plant operations and Susan Page, PRMC president and CEO, presented an update on construction of the new patient addition to the hospital.
    Patton said insulation in the back of the house area was progressing but they had run into a problem of matching two different sizes of ductwork.
    Page 2 of 2 - In the front of the hospital, concrete footings for the foundation were being poured, the company that sold the hospital the new cooling towers would be in town Thursday or Friday to set up the towers and a water flow test on Sept. 9 would determine if the hospital had enough water for the system or if a water pump would be needed to meet pressure standards for the fire suppression system.
    Page said when they came back in October for their monthly update, the commissioners would see walls at the construction site.
    Repairs continue on the Stanion meeting rooms after they suffered serious damage from flooding in August.
    The commission approved the purchase of an additional computer for the county's Emergency Operations Center. A Q-Tech bid of $1,145 was approved.
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