Pratt City Commissioners vote to fund Iowa Avenue Trail and provide salary increases for city employees.

Pratt City Commissioners voted at their regular meeting Monday, December 16, to provide $5,000 toward the $25,000 cost to expand the recently-opened Iowa Avenue Trail from Fifth Street south to 517 Iowa Avenue and east to Washington Street.
Pratt Health Foundation Executive Director DeWayne Bryan made the request stating that the availability of Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism funding had made the expansion feasible.
“It’s well worth it,” Pratt Public Works Director Russ Rambat told commissioners who voted unanimously in favor of the funding request on motion of commissioner Zach Deeds.
Commissioners also unanimously approved the proposed 2020 salary scale for the city’s 98 employees, both salaried and hourly and included elected and appointed officers.
Meyer said the increase provides for a three percent cost-of-living increase from the 2019 salary schedule for a total anticipated 2020 budget of $4 million to cover compensation of hourly employees and salaries of elected and appointed officers and employees of the city.
John Beverlin and Dakota Holtgrieve, representing Oktoberfest sponsors, reported on a successful 2019 event at the Green Sports Complex and said plans are currently underway for the 2020 event.
Mike Cummings and Jeanette Siemens were in attendance, representing the Circles program, which Cummings told commissioners is structured to help individuals and families find ways out of poverty.
Cummings thanked commissioners for the city’s annual monetary support of $6,000.
“It takes a real commitment,” Commissioner Peters said. “Congratulations for all you do. It means a lot to us.”
On recommendation of Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce Director Kim DeClue, who was not able to attend the Monday meeting, commissioners approved appointments of Shelley Shaw and Kevin Evans to three-year terms to the Pratt Travel and Tourism Committee, chaired by Bev Aldrich.
Commissioners also reappointed Myron Bartel to serve a second three-year term as one of two city representatives on the Pratt Area Economic Development Corporation board. Pat Gordon, whose term expires in 2020, is the second city representative  to the PAEDC board.
In other business, commissioners:
*Voted to approve the 2020 Cereal Malt Beverage license for El Trancazo on recommendation of Police Chief Nate Humble.
*Approved the 2020 Agreement for Municipal Judge Rob Eisenhauer.
*Continued discussion without taking action on a proposed ordinance which would restrict the sales of tobacco and vaping products to persons under the age of 21. Commissioners adopted a wait-and-see position based on the possibility of a state law that would keep tobacco and vaping products off limits to persons under 21 years old.
*Approved ordinances relating to the licensing requirements of electricians and plumbers, as recommended by City Building Inspector Brad Blankenship and City Attorney Regina Probst.
*Were advised by Commissioner Leslie that about 150 families participated in the Toys for Tots event at the National Guard Armory on Saturday, December 14.
City Hall with be closed for the holidays on Wednesday, December 25, and Wednesday, January 1.
The regularly-scheduled City Commission meeting of January 6 is rescheduled for Monday, January 13, to comply with state regulations.