Progress made on long-term upgrade project in Pratt.
City of Pratt electrical department workers have been busy at the Municipal Building this week, replacing decades old transformers with new, while updating conduit connections and breaker boxes. All this work is part of a long-term plan to fix the HVAC system that has been compromised at the community event building for many months.
"Once we get this all done it will be amazing how much more efficient it will be to heat and cool the Municipal Building," said city manager Bruce Pinkall. "Our gas bill will go down, our electrical bill will go down, we will be able to manage the comfort level in each room of the building instead of just one overall control."
The chiller went kaput in the building last summer and many events had to be relocated or rescheduled because temperature control problems that followed. All of that is soon to become history as the work behind the scenes nears completion.
"When we lost the chiller it became very apparent that our electrical system there was definitely outdated," Pinkall said. "Now, the HVAC system is almost all in, electrical boxes have been replaced and we've run power from back to front over the roof of the building."
City employees continue to work on the transformers outside the building, ready to cut concrete and finish the conduit work sometime this week.
The city financed the entire project with a $225,000 loan from a local bank and will have several years to pay that off. Pinkall said the utility savings alone from the recent upgrades would help make a big dent on those payments.