Pratt County postpones public safety center meeting

Gale Rose
Those asking questions about the cost of a proposed public safety center in Pratt County have yet to get answers and signs continue to pop up around the Pratt community pointing out the project. A planned public safety meeting with question-and-answer session has been postponed indefinitely by county commissioners.

A tentative public meeting on the proposed county Public Safety Center has been postponed. The postponement was announced at special meeting of the Pratt County Commission on May 15 to discuss county actions in response to the governor's Phase Two reopening of the state during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Public Safety Center meeting was postponed because of the ongoing limit of gatherings of no more than 10. No new date has been set but the public will be informed and invited to attend. Commissioners and a representatives of the engineering firm will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.

Darci Van Der Vyver, director of public health said the county was going to follow the governor's recommendations for Phase Two.

Among the changes are opening park playgrounds, open barber shops and salons as long as they follow baseline limits, gyms and locker rooms can open but locker rooms can only be used for restroom facilities, Van Der Vyver said.

Playground equipment will be periodically cleaned, said County Counselor Tyson Eisenhauer.

Although not banned, any self service food and beverage is strongly discouraged.

According to the Governor's plan, bars and night clubs can open at 50 percent capacity and can continue curbside and carryout services. Non-tribal casinos can open but only if they comply with uniform guidelines approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Several activities are still prohibited: Outdoor and indoor entertainment venues with capacity of 2,000 or more; fairs, festivals, carnivals, parades and graduations; public and private summer camps.

Phase Three will not be instituted before June 1 after the progress of Phase Two is evaluated.

At the May 18 regular Monday county commission meeting, Pratt County Attorney Tracey Beverlin said tentative plans for holding holding court cases at the Pratt County Courthouse are being finalized. Cases will be staggered by 30 minutes, temperatures would be taken, people would meet outside the courthouse and would be escorted up and down and masks will be available.

In other business:

* New doors will be added to the county appraiser's office and the county clerks office. Bids for the doors were opened and the commissioner awarded a $3,503 contract to J.A. Knight and sons for door installation. There was some discussion about splitting the work between two contractors but it was decided to award the contract to just one.

* South Central Kansas Community Corrections Office Katherine Rohrer said she is conducting interviews for a new juvenile intake officer. She is pleased with candidate applications so far. Rohrer is also putting out bids for a new vehicle for her department.

* Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, said a drive shaft on one of the new mowers was bent during delivery to Pratt but he does have three mowers operating. He reported that the Pratt County Veteran's Memorial Lake has been very busy, with weekends exceptionally busy.

* Sheriff Jimmy White said people representing window businesses have been visiting the Law Enforcement Center with tape-measures as they prepare bids for new windows and doors for the center.