Bids for the Pratt Law Enforcement Center plumbing replacement project are now in the hands of KMEC Engineers to determine if all bids cover the same repairs.

Work on replacing the plumbing in the Law Enforcement Center is one step closer to reality. Pratt County Commissioners opened bids for the project at their regular Monday meeting.

Bids for the project were: Eck Electric-$474,400; Professional Mechanical Contractors-$439,400: Adams Electric-$422,000.

The bids were sent to KMEC Engineers to make sure the bids all covered the same things. At this time, nothing has been finalized for a contract on the project. Once it has been determined the bids are for all the same projects, the commissioners will vote to approve a contract.

The project will replace the pipes in the jail area and in the basement. This project will connect with the new pipes that were installed in the jail remodel of the intake area, dispatch and the extension of the Sally Port, said Pratt County Sheriff Jimmy White.

The design for the project did not cover everything that needs to be replaced and that will be taken into consideration when settling on a project bid.

Rain this week has helped settle the dust on NE 5th Street at least until things dry out. The county had received complaints about the amount of dust on the road that is an access road between Cairo and Cunningham and was built when U.S. 54 became a four lane highway.

Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, said his department had added material to help keep the dust down. Freund will keep Pratt County Commissioners appraised of the situation.

Darcie VanDerVyver, Director of Public Health, that her department is giving out flu vaccinations. She had attended a table top exercise at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita to test the capabilities of health departments across the state. VanDerVyver said she learn a lot and the meeting, sponsored by Kansas Department of Health and Environment, was very informative.

Tim Branscom, county emergency manager, brought the commissioners up to date on the flooding in Preston. An area rain report was 7.8 inches but that was an estimate because the rain gauge overflowed, said Kermit Brown.

Branscom's report was about 5 p.m. Monday after it had been raining all day and was still raining at the time. Water have filled a low area on the north side of K-61 Highway and water was running across the Union Pacific railroad tracks and across the highway. Water had started to go down slightly when Branscom made his report.

North of that, a low lying area with three residences, two that were occupied, was flooded with water reaching the front doors of the two south most buildings. Water had reached the front doors of the two south most houses and was up to the bumper of a car. Very little water got into the houses. Preston Mayor Jesse Mercer helped organize a sandbagging operation that prepared 100 bags that volunteers place around the houses in the flooded area. Water did get into a former mortuary building in town and the area around the grain elevator office was surrounded by water.

There was water standing in many low places in Preston but there was no water in houses in town. The Senior Center was opened for anyone who needed a place to stay, Branscom said.

The Union Pacific Railroad monitored the water going across the tracks and determined the line could stay open but the traffic would slow down when it went through Preston.

Kansas Department of Transportation had a flag crew out to slow traffic as it went through the area where water was going over the tracks.

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