PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Pratt County Commission: Security cameras approved for courthouse

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  • The Pratt County Courthouse will soon have new security cameras following action taken the Pratt County Commission meeting Monday afternoon.
    Commissioners approved an $8,057 bid from RSI Communications and Security for the purchase of the cameras and installation.
    Pratt County Sheriff Vernon told the commissioners that another bidder had shown interest in the project but failed to meet the deadline and although they had asked for more time, failed to respond to Chinn for two days so commissioners approved the RSI bid.
    Chinn said he and Shawn Harding of HMN Architects would meet with Law Company in Wichita on Thursday to discuss the bid on the Law Enforcement Center. When bids were opened at the last Commission meeting, all three were around 20 percent higher than the estimate and the bids were within seven percent of each other.
    The upgrade to the jail area will add an additional four beds and Chinn said that would be a big help to him. Of the last 14 prisoners he took to court, only three cases were resolved and 11 had to come back to jail.
    The jail is right on the bubble of having to send prisoners to other jails because the jail is at or close to maximum capacity almost all the time.
    A big part of the problem is the backlog of cases in the courts. Until that backlog is cleared, housing will continue to be a problem at the jail.
    Nancy Smith, community service coordinator, said people were fulfilling their community service obligations. Seven cases had been completed and three more should be completed by the end of the month.
    Recent areas included the Miss Kansas Pageant, the Pratt County Humane Society and a thrift shop. Some of the cases have completed their service and enjoyed it so much, they have gone back to the businesses and volunteered on their own, Smith said.
    One constant hurdle in community service is getting people to get over their “I can’t do this” attitude. Once people have cleared that hurdle, they often find out they not only can do the job but they actually enjoy doing it, Smith said.
    Smith has about 90 people in the court system heading for community service.
    Robert Torres, environmental services manager, said the state inspector had visited and everything was in good shape except for one item.
    Pratt Community College had paid the county to come to the college and spray for bindweed including the soccer field. The soccer field is considered “turf” and Torres is licensed for right of way and bare ground but not turf.
    The commissioners determined it would be best if the college paid to have someone licensed for turf to spray the soccer field. The soccer field is the only turf area Torres has sprayed so it wouldn’t be financially practical to spend the money to get turf-certified for just one area.
    Page 2 of 2 - Nick Birdsong, Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake supervisor, said he had received so many reservations for the Fourth of July that he had to quit taking them.
    He also reported that his part-time employee was working out well.
    As far as July 4 celebrations at the lake, Birdsong said the American Legion had reserved a shelter house but he had received no other information.
    One of the 10 new fire rings was stolen and he is expecting charges to be filed on that matter.
    Accountant Steve LaPrad presented the results of the 2013 audit. All the financial statements were correct but there was an issue with a budget violation on the solid waste fund.
    The county spent more money than they had budgeted for the fund. The county took in more money than anticipated and they spent it on necessary equipment repairs at the landfill.
    LaPrad said the violation was not very severe since is was on a non-tax levying fund.
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