NextEra Energy will make a wind farm application to the County Planning and Zoning Board on Jan. 16 at the Pratt County Fairgrounds.

The next step in building a second wind farm in Pratt County will take place in January at the Pratt County Fairgrounds. The county zoning and planning board will host a public hearing on Jan. 16 at the Pratt Area 4-H Center for the wind farm application, said Tim Branscom, county zoning administrator at the regular Pratt County Commission meeting Dec. 18.

The public is invited to attend and there will be time allowed for comments about the project. Two additional days have been set aside if necessary but since the county has already been through this process, Branscom doesn't think they will be needed.

Some 1,460 property owners will be notified about the meeting. The projected wind farm will be located in the southwest quadrant of the county.

The Planning and Zoning Board will consider all comments and NextEra's presentation. If they are in favor of the wind farm, they will send a recommendation of approval to the Pratt County Commissions who will have the final approval on construction.

Motorists in the northwest section of Pratt County will be seeing new signs sometime in 2018, said Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor.

The project is entirely funded by the state and will replace existing signage in the northwest section of the county. Kirkham Michael, consulting engineers for the county, work with Freund to provide the state with whatever they need to determine what signs will be replaced.

Freund also presented a road crossing permit for AT&T on SW 60th Street and 10th, 20th and 30th Avenues. Commissioners approved the permit. The project is for phone lines. Underground boring will be used so it will not stop traffic on any of the roads, Freund said.

An active shooter event will be staged at Pratt Community College in January. This will be a full scale enactment with law enforcement, EMS, Pratt Regional Medical Center and the college involved with the event, Branscom said.

Information about the event will be sent out to alert the public that this is an exercise and not a real shooting event.

Preston Mayor Jesse Mercer and city employee Randy Sheets informed the commissioners there was a water drainage problem on NE 100th Avenue that is the Main Street blacktop in Preston. They are not sure if the drain is plugged or if it has collapsed. Sheets said he could see roots in the drainage pipe as well as black water.

Preston doesn't have the means or the resources to cut into the road to find out why the water won't drain. The problem is where the former co-op office is located. There is a drainage ditch along 4th Street that is connected to the problem area.

Freund said he would take a look at the situation to determine what part of the problem is on county property and what part is on Preston city property then give his findings at a future commission meeting.

Pratt County Attorney Tracey Beverlin reported that her office has been very busy over the last four or five months. They are working on a number of appeals and have sent a number of people to prison.

She said she thought all the cases from the previous county attorney had been closed.

Pratt Community College President Michael Calvert presented a review of the colleges economic impact and community engagement report. Highlights included: 314 full and part time employees with an annual payroll of $5.6 million; college purchased $2.4 million in goods and services in Pratt; students purchased $873,000 in goods and services in Pratt; visitors to PCC purchased $380,000 in good and services in Pratt; $31 million annual net economic contribution to Pratt County; 1,641 students served with 26,856 credit hours; 8,454 hours of community service from students, student athletes, faculty and staff; cultural programs-PCC community concerts, PCC community choir, pep band, dance troupe; 385 community use of facilities; 20,000 plus local and visitors facilities used by outside organizations; events hosted at PCC-Miss Kansas Pageant, football camp, graduation, academic olympics, technology program day.