Pratt city commissioner Don Peters is back in action serving the city after several months of recovery from not one, but two heart-attacks. He was out with city leaders viewing a ladder truck delivered Wednesday for the city fire department.
Pratt City Commissioner Don Peters said he is happy to be back in the full swing of things to fulfill his city duties following health issues that included two open-heart surgeries.
Peters, along with Mayor Doug Meyer and Commissioner Gary Schmidt and several volunteer firemen, was on hand when the city’s recently purchased ladder truck rolled into town on a trailer Wednesday afternoon for unloading in the Alco parking lot.
“We sure got a good deal,” Peters said of the 2002 American LaFrance fire truck purchased for $50,000 from Creve Couer Fire District, a suburb of St. Louis, Mo. “With the height of this truck, our firemen can fight any fire in the city.”
Peters, who is finishing the third year of his first term as commissioner, reflected Wednesday on the complications of his first heart surgery at Pratt Regional Medical Center last summer.
“It was touch-and-go for a while, but I guess the good Lord had something else for me to do,” he said.
While recovering from the first surgery, Peters had a setback in October 2018 that sent him to Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minn. for a life-saving, second open-heart surgery.
“The doctors said if I didn’t have the surgery, I’d be dead in a month,” Peters said. “Following the surgery, I couldn’t talk for a couple of days and that really scared me.”
Peters, retired executive vice president and trust officer at First National Bank (Legacy Bank), said he was encouraged to run for office by former commissioner Gary Skaggs.
Before he was elected, Peters said he took most city services for granted.
“When I needed the lights, I flipped a switch. When I wanted a drink, I turned on the faucet. When I hit a pothole in the street, I took it for granted that it would be fixed,” Peters said. “I had no idea of how much it costs to run the city.”
As a commissioner, Peters said he learned what it takes to keep a city going, including budgeting.
“Commissioners can’t spend money if it’s not budgeted,” he said.
Peters had high praises for city employees, including city attorney Regina Probst, whom, he said, excels at making sure the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed on documents presenting to city commissioners for signing.
Peters said he also takes a lot of pride in the new solar farm and other business growth of the last three years, including Hello Beautiful, Arby’s and Casey’s, with Dollar Tree in the construction phase.
During the time that Peters was sidelined from city commission meetings, he was always remembered in opening prayers.
“Every meeting we prayed for him,” said Meyer. “We’re just glad he’s back. He’s asking questions and filling a role we really need.”