Troup members would like to honor the late Ted Loomis with remodel and rename of Scout Cabin, and they have the support of Pratt city commissioners.
Gene Messick, Pratt Cub Scout leader, spoke to Pratt city commissioners in the open agenda portion of their regular meeting Monday about the possibility of remodeling and renaming the local Scout Cabin in honor of local Prattans Ted and Linda Loomis. Ted Loomis died recently after an illness.
“After the recent passing of Ted I have had a lot of scouters and family members of past scouters ask me if we are going to do anything to honor him,” Messick said. “I come before you today to present a short and brief overview of what Ted and Linda Loomis have done for local scouts.”
Reading a prepared statement, Messick broke down as he outlined all that the Loomis’ had done for the area Scouts. His request for help from the city council to honor the well-known couple was met with appreciation and consideration.
“The city owns the Scout Cabin and these are logical things we can consider to upgrade and rename it,” said interim/acting city manager Bruce Pinkall. “It would probably be well received.”
Pinkall noted that the Scout Cabin is used by more groups than Boy Scouts. It has also been an important part of tennis tournaments hosted by Pratt as it becomes a seating meeting stage and hospitality room for those state and regional events.
Pinkall said some sort of formal proclamation would need to be made with details about upgrades needed and the city would be glad to consider the project.
Messick said that 30-45 young people meet at the building each month, in several different age groups.
“We work hard to teach them first aid, basic life skills, just keep ‘em out of trouble,” Messick said. “Loomis was such a big part of that, not just here but all across the state. It would just mean a lot to rename it the Ted and Linda Loomis Scout Cabin or the Loomis Memorial Cabin.”
Mayor Doug Meyer thanked Messick for his presentation, and said it was one of the best he had ever heard.
During the business portion of the meeting the commissioners also heard from Karen Detwiler, who has long been asking for help from the city to fix a bridge damaged by floodwater run-off from city right-of-way over her property.
Commissioner Jason Leslie said he had been to see the problem area and found that so much water has indeed come through that drainage ditch that the Detwiler bridge had been lifted off its support structure and some of the wood was rotting.
City Attorney Regina Probst said she was uncomfortable with the city accepting responsibility for the bridge to fix the problem as there was some discrepancy about ownership.
“The city is not making any statements that we own that bridge,” Probst said. “It is on private property.”
Pinkall suggested that even though the problem was occurring on private property, the city could consider giving some money towards fixing the problem to take care of it.
“Technically, it is not our bridge,” said Detwiler. “The ditch was put there by the city. The bridge was put there by the city. The water comes running from city drainage. It is on our property, but we didn’t cause the problem.”
Public Works Director Russ Rambatt said an option to consider would be replacing the wood bridge with two concrete box structures as a solution.
Detwiler said she and her husband would be agreeable to a box culvert solution.
“We are not wanting the city to spend an astronomical amount of money over there,” she said. “Whatever can be done that we can drive across would be appreciated.”
Probst said the drainage and runoff of water from city property would justify the use of public funds to solve the problem. She favored Rambatt’s suggestion to have a certified engineer come in and determine how best to fix it and how much would be appropriate for the city to spend on the matter.
In other business, city commissioners:
* held a public budget hearing during which no comments were made by the public
* heard from city finance director Diana Garten that the mill levy would be up 2.1 mills from last year with the new budget in order to pay for an increase in city employee health insurance and to cover municipal building expenses
* approved a proposal securing the professional services of Lamp Rynearson Aquatics to move forward with the process of engaging the community in pool replacement considerations.
“The money will be tough and we’re not going to make everybody happy, but we hope to make most people happy as we work on this pool project,” said Rambatt.