Pratt County Commissioners are considering a new emergency communications system.

Communication during emergency situations is vital in any community. The Pratt County Commissioners are considering a new emergency telecommunications service. Tim Branscom, county emergency manager, presented information on the new system to the commissioners at their regular Monday meeting, said Pratt County Clerk Sherry Kruse.

Made possible through Homeland Security, the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service provides priority land lines and some cellar calling capabilities when communications networks are congested.

The typical uses for the service are responsible command and control functions critical to management and response to national security and civil emergency events. Entities have to be authorized to receive the service.

The service is free and is made available through the Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications. The service will go through Branscom who will do more research on the service and report to the commissioners at a later meeting.

Branscom has received bids from Lanterman Motors, Doug Reh Chevrolet and Davis Moore to replace a pickup Branscom uses. A total of six options were presented. No action was taken at this time on which vehicle to replace the pickup, Kruse said.

The documents necessary to restore the Neighborhood Revitalization program have been sent to the Attorney General's office and are awaiting approval.

Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, said kayak rentals at the Pratt County Veteran's Memorial Lake will start on Saturday, July 8. Rental hours will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with Saturday rentals from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Nathan Houdyshell, a part time lake employee, will be in charge of checking out kayaks from the storage shed at the west end of the lake.

Smiley Concrete will be doing some concrete work at the road department this week.

Commissioners approved the purchase of a Dell lap top computer with monitor, keyboard, docking station, mouse and bag for $2,469 for Mark Graber, new county IT person.

Graber informed the commissioners they also needed new data cartridges for backing up on the first and second floor of the courthouse. The courthouse has a cartridge system now but the cartridges are not big enough to handle the information load, Kruse said.

Vernon Hirt, a Pratt County resident, informed the commissioners about a problem with bindweed in the county. He said the county road maintainers spread bindweed when they worked the roads.

Commissioners advised him to visit with Robert Torres, head of the county noxious weed department about the problem.

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