The water level in the Pratt County Veteran’s Memorial Lake is heading in the wrong direction. Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, told the Pratt County Commissioners on April 29 that the water level is rising in the lake and that’s not what Freund needs at this time.
The lake is being drained so the inlet and outlet areas can be repaired. They were damaged in a Labor Day flood in 2018. Water is still running out but its seeping in faster then its going out, Freund said.
Freund said he thinks ground water is coming up through the ground and adding water to the lake. He said the Ninnescah River level is low enough that it should not be working its way into the lake. He will continue to determine what is causing the water level to rise and what can be done so repairs can start on the inlet and outlet areas.
Freund said they may have to pump water out every day during construction. Right now, construction is on hold until Smiley Concrete receives the stainless steel valves necessary to make the repairs. The company that makes the valves is behind schedule.
“That seems to be the holdup,” Freund said.
Tim Branscom, county emergency manager, said the emergency generator at the County Health Department kept kicking on and off and needs attention. A controller appears to be going out and the auto switch needed for repairs is $4,000. Branscom said he wanted to have all the county emergency generators checked.
The commissioners approved not more than $4,066 for the repairs.
Branscom said the Veterans Administration had a very successful day at the emergency preparedness event at the National Guard Armory. They had 12 visitors and two signed up for benefits.
Thad Henry, board Treasurer Pratt County Historical Society, presented the 2020 budget request of $40,000. That is the same amount as last year. The Society Museum had a difficult year last year and lost $7,000. Henry said an air conditioning air compressor went out and memorial gifts were down $3,000 from the usual $10,000 they receive.
The museum is facing a major structure issue with the roof. It would cost $55,000 to get the entire roof repaired because the museum covers a third of a block, said Society Board President Tim Kuhn.
The roof leaks are a  problem and the Board is working on sources of income to get the roof repaired, Henry said.
If they had to do an entire teardown and replace rather than a repair, it would cost $200,000, Kuhn said.
Also appearing on behalf of the Society Board were secretary Debbie Boley and  member Paula Blasi.
Andrea Polf, vice president of Arrowhead West client services, presented the proposal for the 2020 Budget. It called for a five percent budget increase. The Commissioners are receiving budget requests from various organizations and departments. They will discuss all the budget requests at budget meetings later in the year.
Louise Pelzl, new Silver Haired Legislator, said the Silver Haired Legislature will meet in May to determine what issues they want the 2020 state legislature to consider. She expects the cost of prescription drugs and growing hemp to be among the topics. She also said there are an estimated 500,00 Kansans over the age of 60.