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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Park speed limits questioned

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  • At its meeting Monday, the Pratt City Commission adopted as its municipal code for traffic and misdemeanor offenses two standard ordinances developed by the Kansas League of Municipalities, with local additions or exclusions.
    The League publishes all the regulations municipalities would normally use in a paperback book, City Attorney Ken Van Blaricum explained, and updates it annually.
    The Standard Traffic Ordinance was amended to set maximum speed limits of 30 miles per hour in Pratt residential areas, and 20 mph in business districts, school zones and parks. Commissioner Karen Detwiler, a regular walker in Lemon Park, recommended that the speed in parks be dropped to 15.
    Commissioner Gary Skaggs agreed that "some use it as a racetrack," but he didn't believe lowering the speed would slow them down. Mayor Jeff Taylor commented that 20 is "a safe enough speed." No action was taken to further reduce speed in parks.
    Detwiler also noted that traffic signs in the park are too high for a vehicle's headlights to light up. City Manager Dave Howard commented that signs may be placed high to discourage vandals.
    He agreed with Detwiler's request that a crosswalk be marked on Sixth Street where walkers cross from Sixth Street Park to Graves Park, where the tennis courts are located.
    Also adopted were a pair of ordinances concerning the installation of customer-owned energy generation facilities, such as wind or solar powered generators, and providing for net metering if the customer pushes power onto the city's electrical grid.
    Howard noted that he would forward the ordinances to Kansas Municipal Utilities, and that he expected them to become models for other Kansas cities.
    Commissioners adopted a resolution declaring the property at 315 Illinois Avenue as unsafe and dangerous. The owners, who were not present at the hearing, will be directed to begin cleaning up or tearing down by March 1. If they do not, the city will begin clean-up efforts.
    Public Works Director Russ Rambat reported that street crews were cleaning up and servicing their equipment to be ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store.
    He also reported on the repair of water line breaks that become more frequent during extreme cold.
    Kelly Hemphill, director of electrical utilities, said that during the snowstorms one circuit tripped off, but did not cause a long outage.
    Skaggs commented that the city's policy of cutting back trees from electrical lines seemed to be paying off.

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