Budget timing influenced a decision to wait until next year to address request for an investigative assistant.

Hiring an investigator for the Pratt County Attorney’s office has been put on hold and will be brought up again when county budget hearings begin for next year. When County Attorney Traci Beverlin originally made the request to the county commissioners for an investigator, the budget had already been set for the year and the commissioners didn’t want to deal with the issue at this time.
Beverlin has decided to wait until the next budget hearings and try again.
Commissioner Joe Reynolds said the number of people booked into the jail was down in 2018 with 523 bookings compared to 2017 with 630 bookings. With fewer bookings, Reynolds didn’t see a need to hire an investigator. The city has an investigator so why would the county need one as well, Reynolds said.
Beverlin said while the number of bookings was down, her office was still very busy and would benefit from having an investigator on the staff.
“I’m very busy,” Beverlin said.
The investigator would be a certified law enforcement officer and would meet with officers to help them build their cases. they would help track down witnesses. The investigator would enhance what needs to be done Beverlin said.
Commissioner Tom Jones said a lot of people had come to him and said the county attorney doesn’t need an investigator.
Commissioner Glenna Borho said she favors adding an investigator to the staff and that it would make the county attorney’s office more efficient. She said they could look at the request again during the next budget session.
Items to note in other commission business:
* following the purchase of three new pickups for the county road department, the old vehicles they replaced are going on Purple wave for sale. Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, said the vehicle with the lowest mileage was 240,000 so he didn’t think he could get very much if he tried to sell them himself. The vehicles had so many miles it wouldn’t be worth it to give them to another department.
* NextEra Energy has replaced two bridges in the construction area for the Pratt Energy Wind Farm. The bridges are complete but there is still some seeding to do on the shoulders. Klaver Construction did the work, Freund said.
* The county is getting the dirt it agreed to receive from the Pratt wind farm construction.
* Freund said he was now working on getting a new dump truck for the department.
* The Pratt County Clerk Sherry Kruse said the county had received a check from NextEra Energy Ninnescah Energy Farm for $700,000.
* Stan Reimer, executive director of the Filley Art Museum, shared an update on the Museum and its impact on the community. He said they had received grant from the Kansas Arts Commission and it would be used to create a bronze sculpture based on children’s hand prints.
* Justin Zilke, an artist from Sawyer, will create the sculpture. Museum Director Brittany Novotny’s father will do the casting for the sculpture.
The Kansas Arts Commission will provide half of the $10,000 grant while the museum will have to come up with the other $5,000.