Pratt County continues to move ahead on getting a pump for a water well in Cairo so firefighters in that part of the county have a place to refill trucks.

Mark McManaman, administrator of Emergency and Medical Services for Pratt County, continues to move ahead with the water well project at Cairo. He is getting preliminary design work from Southern Pioneer but he hasn't heard anything from the Crowdis, a water well company.

McManaman presented the update to the Pratt County Commissioners at their regular weekly meeting, Dec. 11.

Pratt County Counselor Bob Schmisseur wants the well up and running by mid January. With the lack of moisture and extremely dry conditions, the area is vulnerable to grass fires like the one in southern Kansas that burned 600,000 acres. He wants the water well available to help avert a similar fire in Pratt County.

When the Kansas Department of Transportation expanded U.S. 54 from two-lane to four-lane, they drilled a water well on their property to provide water for the project. When the project was complete, they left the well in place.

The Commissioners, with direction from Schmisseur, have submitted paper work to the state that would allow the county to attach an electric water pump to the well to provide a place for fire trucks to refill their tanks when fighting fire in the eastern part of the county.

Schmisseur requested the paperwork be put on a priority because of the fire danger in the county from a lack of precipitation. He anticipates everything will be approved so he is pressing ahead with plans for the well and pump.

Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, said he had reviewed all the mowers from the businesses that submitted bids for a machine for use at the lake. He preferred and the commissioners voted to approve purchase of a Grasshopper from L&W Repair for $11,175.

Commissioner Glenna Borho did not participate in the discussion and abstained from voting because her husband is co-owner of Kincheloe's, one of the companies submitting a bid.

Freund said some remodeling needs to be done at the county barn. He is getting bids to replace the floor tile in the break room and the old carpet is getting wrinkles.

He will put a sand spreader and the old mower from the Pratt County Veteran's Memorial Lake for sale on Purple Wave.

Tiffany Ailstock, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program director, said she had purchased some red roasters for the community.

Sherry Kruse, county clerk, discussed a list of names she would contact to be on the Economic Development Board. The county has one member on the board. Possibilities given were Michael Keiser, Jason Roberts, Dwane DeWeese, Lori Stroda, Rich Sanders and Jamie Panek.

Pratt County Commission meetings will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 26 and Tuesday, Jan. 2 because Christmas and New Years Day both fall on Monday, the regular day for County Commission meetings.

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