Tractor Supply Company, a Tennessee-based company with locations in 48 states, is advertising in the Tribune for an assistant manager, team leaders, team members and receivers. At the Monday meeting of the Pratt City Commission, City Manager Dave Howard confirmed that arrangements have been made for the company to open a store in a portion of the old Walmart building on East First Street.
Remodeling of the building is expected to begin soon. In answer to a question from Commissioner Gary Skaggs, Howard said it is expected that the Stutzman’s garden center will remain in the parking lot, at least for the near term. Howard qualified his answer, however, by saying that he had not been a part of negotiations and did not know the details of the contract.
Efforts to contact Tractor Supply Company were not successful by the Tribune’s news deadline.
City Inspector Brad Blankenship reported on a two and a half-hour meeting with a representative from Chance Manufacturing of Wichita, the maker of the Pilot Express train in Sixth Street Park. Derailing has continued to be a problem, even after the city replaced all the railroad ties with heavier material.
“It looks like we need new wheels,” Blankenship said of the train owned by the city and operated by the Pratt Pilot Club.
Wheels for the two coaches would come to nearly $4,000. The city’s intention would be to “farm out” the installation, Howard said, speculating that there are at least four local shops that could do the work.
The Chance representative also noted the need for routine maintenance, including lubrication with a high temperature wax sold by Chance. Commissioner Luke Kumberg suggested that with the city’s investment, it might be cost effective to also take over maintenance.
A sign will be posted at the depot in Sixth Street noting that the train is closed for repairs.
In action items:
• Commissioners approved Lanterman Motors’ low bid of $27,373 for a 2015 Ford Explorer all-wheel drive vehicle to be put in place as a police patrol vehicle. The Explorer is preferred over a sedan for its additional cargo and cabin space necessary for radio, electronic equipment and other equipment officers use daily, Chief Gary Myers said. The bid proposal included trading in a 2008 Chevy Impala with approximately 105,000 miles.
Doug Reh Chevrolet submitted a bid of $31,336 for a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe.
• Commissioners approved a $169,680 bid to chip-seal streets in the northwest quadrant of the city. For the third year, Hi-Plains Sand, Inc., Kanopolis, submitted the low bid. Funding for the project comes from the quarter-cent sales tax designated for street maintenance. Rambat projected the job would begin the first or second week of August and last about a week and a half.
• A contract was renewed with Bob Johnson Youth Shelter in Reno County to house juvenile offenders at the cost of $150 per day, a $10 per day increase that will take effect in January.
Juveniles cannot be housed in the Pratt County Jail, Myers said. He estimated that no more than 20 juveniles are sent there in a year, and are typically housed less than seven days.
Officers usually handle violations of the city’s loitering ordinance and juvenile shoplifters without bringing the teens into the Law Enforcement Center, which triggers a call to juvenile intake at the Bob Johnson facility.