Woody’s gets last COVID-19 micro loan

Gale Rose
Special to the Tribune
Woody's Sports Bar and Grill in Pratt is one of 15 small businesses that recently received micro loans from the county, according to Pratt County Economic Development manager Heather Morgan. She presented block grant information to the Pratt County commissioners at their April 13 meeting.

Woody’s Sports Bar and Grill is one of the last small businesses in Pratt to receive a micro loan from the county to help with the loss of revenue because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Heather Morgan, Pratt County Economic Development, presented the latest information on the block grants to the Pratt County commissioners at their April 13 meeting. The commissioners are now meeting in the district courtroom on the third floor of the Pratt County Court House because it provides more room for safe distancing.

"That's (Woody’s) the last grant we can fund. We can't accept anyone else," Morgan said.

Main Street business Market 54 also applied for a grant and, depending on their application, the commissioners agreed they could probably approve that loan as well. Great Plains Development out of Dodge City administered the loans. A total of 15 loans were approved for local businesses.

The micro loans were originally designed to help businesses locate in Pratt or for an existing business to improve their current business.

Michelle Yingling, Blue Cross group representative for Pratt County, presented options for changing the policy to save money including changing the prescription coverage for county employees. After reviewing the options, the commissioners opted to retain the policy prescription coverage as it is because it is the least expensive for the county employees.

The commissioners did approve having county employees pay half of their dental premium to cut down the cost to the county, said Pratt County Clerk Sherry Kruse.

Darcie Van Der Vyver, Director of Public Health, said she continues to monitor COVID-19 reports from the state. Pratt County still has registered one positive case, which is now recovered. There is also one pending test for coronavirus that has not come back yet.

Van Der Vyver has applied for a $1,500 grant from the Kansas Association of Local Health Departments that will go towards the purchase of small protective equipment.

Plans are in place to work on the roof at the county health department.

Scott Harris, EMS director, said that his department had received a stimulus package of $23,000 from Health and Human Services. Harris said he was not aware that his department was receiving the funds.

This was in response to the financial burden caused by COVID-19.

The commissioners approved for bids to go out for new doors and windows for the Pratt County Law Enforcement Center. The LEC houses the county sheriff's office, city police department, dispatch and the Pratt County Jail.