Families using Greenlawn Cemetery will have to pay a larger fee for opening and closing services.

Families using Greenlawn Cemetery will have to pay a larger fee for opening and closing services.

The Pratt City Commission unanimously voted Monday night to increase the fee from the current $250 to $350 to meet increasing expenses for this service upon recommendation from the Cemetery Board of Directors, said Russ Rambat, Pratt Public Works Director.

The current rate of $250 has been in place since 2003. Over 60 area cemeteries were contacted about their fees and the average was $360 for comparable services. The increase in fees will allow the cemetery to continue to charge only $10 for Babyland services while providing a free head stone that is uniform with the other stones in Babyland, Rambat said.

Babyland has recently completed a project to provide a uniform head stone for every baby whether they are known or not.

• The city will purchase 137 water meters from HD Supply in Wichita for $20,200. The price was $20 cheaper per meter over a bid from Municipal Supply of Hastings, Neb.

Both meters were compatible with the Pratt system so the HD Supply offer was chosen.

Water meters are replaced after 10 years because they start to lose efficiency. Besides recording water use, the meters help the city meet water-reporting requirements.

“We’re required by the state to monitor our water use and record water loss throughout the system. Water meters are the main source for that,” said Pratt City Manager Dave Howard.

• The purchase of a 2011 Chevrolet Impala with police package from Doug Reh Chevrolet was approved for $23,485. The purchase will include the trade-in of a 2006 Chevrolet Impala with 85,000 miles with a trade-in allowance of $4,000 bringing the total cost down to $19,485, said Acting Chief of Police Gary Myers.

The new vehicle will have front wheel drive for better performance in snow conditions. Previous rear wheel drive vehicles purchased from the Kansas Highway Patrol had difficulty in snow conditions so the front wheel drive is preferred.

The Impala also has more cabin space than a Crown Victoria adding to the preference for the Impala. The cost of the vehicle is already been budgeted.

Lanterman Motors did not submit a bid. 

• Building Board members Gary Thimesch and Chad Westhoff will swap remaining terms allowing Thimesch to serve one more year until April and Westhoff to accept a new three-year term.

Thimesch’s term is coming to an end and he doesn’t want to serve another full three-year term but would like to remain on the Board for one more year. Westhoff’s term will expire in April 2012 so the two agreed to swap terms and the Commissioners approved the swap.

• Jim Dykes was nominated for the 2010 Joe Wynn Volunteer Award for his efforts to pickup trash in Lemon Park during his walks.

• Brad Blankenship, Pratt Building Inspector, said BTI had received their final inspection, walls were going up at the Southwest Elementary addition, construction was continuing on the Blythe Family Fitness facility and work on the Maple Street project was coming to close with possible completion by Friday. Fill dirt is being put in place, drainage covers will be put in place, the new entrance for the First Southern Baptist Church has been poured and church traffic will soon be moved onto a short portion of the new street to allow the final connection with K-61, Blankenship said.

Commissioner Gary Skaggs said he would like to see speed limit and truck restriction signs on the new street.

• Electric lines servicing the downtown traffic signals and the Christmas lights will be removed from their underground conduit and placed above ground on the light poles to prevent any kind of problem with the upcoming South Main project.

The electric lines are close to the surface and to avoid any problems the lines will be moved overhead. The new street will not have to be torn up to replace the lines once the project is finished, said Kelly Hemphill, director of electric utilities.

City Manager Dave Howard said the lines could be replaced after the project is complete and the only drawback is that the lines will be visible for a time.