The signs will go up very soon at the city’s new housing development and on K-61, visible to motorists going north and south. A radio commercial has been produced and KWCH Channel 12 will come out next week from Wichita to produce a TV spot.
City Manager Dave Howard, Financial Director Diana Garten and members of the Pratt City Commission discussed the pricing structure at their meeting Monday evening. A portion of the city’s cost for development will be allocated to the first 16 lots that are ready now.
Other costs will be allocated to the entire project — a total of 48 lots, plus a hotel for which land has been purchased.
The city has invested $674,283 in development — saving a considerable amount by having employees do a good portion of the work, Howard said. The first 16 lots will bear $425,916 of that cost, about $2 per square foot. Lots are of varying size and will cost from $21,310 to 44,424.
A portion of the lot price could be deferred over a period of 10 years as special assessments on property taxes. Many of the owners will apply for Neighborhood Revitalization tax relief, Howard expects.
Real estate broker Rich Sanders, who was in the audience, was asked for his input.
Historically, people have paid $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 for a building lot in Pratt, he said, but “those days are gone.” He recommended that up to 50 percent of the price be allocated as special assessments.
Asked if he believed there was a demand for the lots in Sandy Creek, he replied, “We’ve certainly had some inquiries and I know Dave (Howard) has. There are no lots out there. Everything in the past five years has been in rural subdivisions.”
Sanders also noted that development costs are “very competitive” to studies he has done in Wichita and other locations.
The city’s planning and zoning board has been working on regulations that Howard said would be somewhat more restrictive than for other residential areas. He expects to bring information to the Commission in June.
City inspector Brad Blankenship disagreed with Sanders’ statement that there were no building lots in Pratt.
“Houses are being built,” he said.
He also outlined other projects in the city, including the Best Western hotel which is slated for completion in mid-May, remodeling at Kwik Shop and an eight-phase remodel at Dillons, progress at the West Car Wash and at Pratt Regional Medical Center.
A dilapidated house at 315 Illinois came down last Thursday and a burned-out trailer at 605 Starr was being removed on Monday.
Howard reported that the Sunflower H20 Committee, formed a few years ago with a possible eye to building a lake north of Medicine Lodge, has determined that small cities do not have the water needs they expected.
“Everybody has adequate water,” Howard said.
The committee is currently considering what direction, if any, it will take in the future. Howard said Pratt became involved, not because of the need for water, but for the potential recreational value of a lake in the area.
Commissioner Gary Skaggs asked if the drought continues, whether Pratt would have to begin restricting water use. Howard said they monitor the “drawdown” of wells, and in the dry year of 2012, they never felt that restriction would be necessary.
Commissioners approved a Kansas Department of Transportation KLINK project to mill and overlay U.S. 54 from Jackson to Mound, with KDOT paying up to $200,000 or 75 percent.