In a split vote, Pratt County Commissioners approved the establishment of a combination container storage and RV storage area in the southeast portion of the county.
Several months ago in October 2018, Kelly Nienke, agent for Donna Weigle storage, established an area at 30065 SE 30th Avenue for container storage and RV storage. Some storage containers were placed on the site. However, Nienke did not go through the necessary steps with the Planning and Zoning Committee and the Pratt County Commissioners to establish the facility, said Tim Branscom, Zoning administrator.
Nienke filed with Planning and Zoning Board for special use application to establish the facility for no more than 20 storage containers and no more then 20 RV storage areas. Conditions on the application included a site plan, lighting, no hazardous materials allowed, site must be kept clean, any fuel tanks on RVs would have to be drained, said Nienke who works at the site or within two miles.
As for security, Nienke said he could install cameras at the site.
The containers are used to transport cargo on ships. These containers have been across the ocean once and are in good shape. The RVs cannot be left there permanently, this is just temporary storage. Nienke said he would keep the property mowed
The Board accepted the application and sent it to the Pratt County Commissioners for their approval. Branscom said any change in the number of containers or RVs would require another special use application.  
Nienke said access to the site would be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter.
Area resident Steve Brehm said he didn’t think having the storage facility there would help his property values and he was concerned the area might become a fire hazard.
County Commissioner Joe Reynolds said if he had an RV, he wouldn’t want to keep it in an open area but have it in a shed. Commissioner Glenna Borho said she thought it was a strange location for a storage facility but it did meet all the necessary criteria.
Borho and Reynolds voted in favor of the site while Commissioner Tom Jones would not second the motion and did not vote for the item.
Rocks and dust are common place in Pratt County but they are a nuisance at the Pratt County recycle center.
Jason Winkel, county landfill manager, said it was difficult for the fork lift to travel over the gravel and wanted the Pratt County Commissioners to consider paving a portion, if not all, of the recycle center parking log.
Dust is also a constant problem at the center. It gets on machinery and into the building and has to be swept out every day. Winkel will investigate paving options and report to the Commissioners at a future committee meeting.
The price for placing a 20 inch tire at the Pratt County Landfill was increased to $3 per tire. Winkel said he didn’t think the new fee would result in people just throwing tires into the ditch. Last year, the landfill took in 1,300 tires.
The recycle center sent in a 40,000 pound load of e-waste and received $1,000. While that’s not a lot, it was better than having to pay to have it hauled away, Winkel said.
It also keeps it out of the landfill, said Pratt County Commissioner Glenna Borho.
Dirt work for a new scale house at the landfill will get underway when the ground dries out. Wet conditions have slowed progress on construction for the scale house.
Winkel reported that the 2009 Ford F150 was running very rough and that a stuck injector cylinder was the problem.
Bids for a new dump truck have arrived and Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, is reviewing the bids to make sure they all cover the same requirements.
Darci VanDerVyver, director of public health, is applying for a $25,700 grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and needed the commissioners signatures on the application to proceed. The grants would be effective for 2020-2021.
The health department sponsored a health fair at Skyline and was one of the sponsoring entities for a free developmental screening at Skyline on March 15. Screenings for motor skills, concepts, communications, social and self-help development, vision and hearing were offered. Other sponsors included South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative, Arrowhead West, Horizons Mental Health and USD 438.
Robert Torres, county environmental services, said cotton production has increased across the county and now no matter where they spray for weeds, they have to consider wind drift over cotton when using 24D. Before cotton comes up, they can use 24D but after it starts to grow, will switch to another product that will not harm cotton.
Torres said he has received the annual contract with Kansas Department of Transportation for spraying weeds.