Pratt City commission members are considering how best to use a Steinway piano with community interests in mind. The piano has been locked away in the Municipal Building for years.
At Tuesday’s regular Pratt City Commission meeting, USD 382 Superintendent Suzan Patton told commissioners she had recently learned from vocal music teacher Brandon Wade that there was a Steinway piano at the Pratt Municipal Building.
“And I said, ‘What, there’s a Steinway?’ and he goes, ‘Yes, it’s just sitting there. I don’t know anything about it, but wouldn’t it be neat if we could use it for our concerts at school and any other event.’”
Patton said she broached the subject with City Manager Rick Eckert who said he would look into it and invited her to make a presentation to city commissioners.
Patton proposed a swap of the Steinway with one of the district’s pianos and outlined some suggestions for a written agreement allowing for each entity to maintain ownership.
“I’m totally open to any suggestions and ideas you may have,” Patton said. “It would be a great opportunity for kids in our district.”
Recreation Director Bruce Pinkall said the piano was at the Municipal Building when his department relocated there nearly 30 years ago and he thought the Community Concert Group and Miss Kansas might have used it.
Pinkall said the late Dr. James VanBlaricum had an interest it the Steinway and would drop by the Municipal Building off and on to check on it.
“I don’t know the history beyond that,” Pinkall said. “It’s been under lock and key.”
Agreement was made to do research about the history of the piano and to have it evaluated to be sure it is in good working order and finalize a decision when more facts were known.
In other business:
—Commissioners approved a resolution to demolish structures at 510 South Jackson Street that had been declared unsafe and dangerous.
—Held a public hearing for the issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds in the approximate principal amount of $2,820,000 for the Pratt Green Sports Complex Track and Field addition.
—Approved the purchase of six steel poles for Lemon Park from Border States Electric who submitted the low bid of $20,639.85 including tax. Stanion Wholesale Electric submitted the only other bid of $24,476.28 including tax.
—Approved Cereal Malt Beverages applications for The Chapeau, 701 N. Main; KwikShop, 116 Washington; Love’s Travel Stop’s, 1412 E. 1st; Dillon’s Store, 1108 E. 1st; Wal-Mart Supercenter, 2003 E. 1st; Casey’s General Store, 1900 E. lst; Lonestar Store #22, 212 W. 1st; and Ampride, 916 S. Main. Police Chief Nate Humble said there were three businesses that did not submit applications to renew their licenses.
—Approved the 2019 Pratt Area Humane Society Agreement that continued the $3,000 monthly fee and $6,000 annual credit toward electric bill for providing at all hours adequate space, cages and other equipment to accept, manage and control such stray or ownerless animals within the city and animals otherwise in violation of city ordinances that are delivered to the humane society by the city.
—Approved a resolution confirming support for the variance for salaries for linemen in the city electrical department.
City Utilities Director Jamie Huber indicated that the variance was needed for Pratt to retain its linemen who are in high demand, industrywide.
—Approved a resolution amending compensation of city employees paid on an hourly basis and of salaries of elected and appointed officials, excluding the city manager and city attorney whose salaries are determined by contract agreement. Eckert said the increases amount to approximately for three percent cost of living increase, excluding electric linemen whose salaries are determined separately.
—Approved an ordinance annexing land at the east city limits for future commercial development.
—Considered and approved documents pertaining to the proposed solar farm as presented by City Attorney Regina Probst.
No members of the public were present for an open-agenda session.
Following reports by the city manager, city attorney, department superintendents, Mayor Luke Kumberg and city commissioners, commissioners held a 30-minute executive session to review proposed contract negotiations with Pratt Community College regarding the proposed Track and Field and Soccer complex.