High praise extended to Pratt city workers amid COVID-19 crisis

Fran Brownell
Pratt City Manager Bruce Pinkall praised city employees for their adaptation to changes necessitated by COVID-19 restrictions at the city commission meeting last Monday.

Pratt City commissioners held their Monday, April 6 meeting via Zoom video conferencing technology, coordinated by City Finance Director Diana Garten and Public Works Director Russ Rambat.

Mayor Gary Schmidt, City Manager Bruce Pinkall, City Clerk LuAnn Kramer, Garten and Rambat were present at the City Hall Commission Chambers, while Commissioners Doug Meyer, Don Peters, Jason Leslie and Zach Deeds, along with City Attorney Regina Probst, Police Chief Nate Humble, Building Inspector Brad Blankenship and Utilities Director Jamie Huber attended remotely.

The meeting was also open to the public by following the procedure to log in. Those who logged in could also address commissioner members by activating a “chat” button, although none did during the meeting.

“It worked. I was pleasantly surprised,” Commissioner Meyer said of the Zoom session.

Pinkall had high praise for city workers as the city faces challenges relating to the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s been an amazing process how we’ve changed and adapted and are still able to provide services to our community,” Pinkall said.

A reminder to the Pratt residents about not flushing anything but toilet paper was issued out of concern for possible damage to the city sewer system.

In other business, commissioners:

*Approved amendments to eight ordinances by removing the stated fee for each ordinance and replacing it with the wording “specified fee” as part of the Global Fee Ordinance that lists all fees in a single document. The ordinances amended were Ordinance 2030–General Penalty; Ordinance 2031–Bonds Required; Ordinance 2032–Amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code; Ordinance 2033- Fees; Ordinance 2034 – Mailing Costs; Ordinance 2035–Court Costs; Ordinance 2036–Booking and Processing Fees; and Ordinance 2037–Blood Testing Costs.

*Approved the reappointments of Gary Trimpe and Deb Zang to three-year terms on the Airport Authority Board.

*Learned that the Americare project is continuing on schedule and that some initial utility line work has been done for the proposed Braum’s Ice Cream Burger Restaurant near Dollar Tree on the east edge of town.

The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 20, and is also anticipated to be a Zoom meeting, unless COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Information about logging into the meeting will be posted on the City of Pratt website, www.cityofprattks.com.