Security cameras installed in Pratt city offices

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Security cameras have been installed at Pratt City offices as a crime deterrent. [Pratt Tribune file photo/for illustration purposes only]

Pratt City Manager Bruce Pinkall reported to city commissioners, at their September 23 meeting, that security cameras are now in place at City Hall.

“It’s not a huge expense and it’s something that’s needed,” Pinkall said.

City offices were broken into last month but nothing substantial was damaged or missing. Several other businesses have also been broken into or vandalized over the summer months and Pratt police have yet to solve the cases.

In other business on Monday, Pratt City commissioners unanimous action voted to authorize purchase of new sanitation truck and a used tractor for the street department, both of which were included in the 2021 city budget approved at the formal budget hearing held August 16.

“We’ve gotten 10 years out of the sanitation truck and that’s pretty good,” said Public Works Director Russ Rambat, who presented the requests, stating frequent breakdowns as the need. “We like to provide the best service we can.”

The new sanitation truck will be purchased from Truck Center Companies, Wichita KS who submitted the only bid at $149,784 with delivery scheduled in four to five months.

The used 2016 Freightliner tractor which was approved for purchase at $67,934.26 from Murphy Tractor, Park City, KS will replace one that recently was sidelined when the motor blew out, Rambat said.

Street Department Superintendent Roy Sinclair told commissioners the Freightliner tractor will provide additional options, including the ability to smooth out the alley ruts often created by sanitation trucks after a rain.

“It’s going to be a lot more useful than the old tractor,” Sinclair said. “We’ll be able to do a lot more with it.”

Commissioners also approved the low bid for auditing services for calendar years ending December 31, 2020 through December 31, 2022 to Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball. Great Bend, KS at $15,200 for 2020, $15,560 for 2021 and $16,125 for 2022.

Other items purchased by the city in the month of September include a new wood chipper for the electric department from Fairbanks Equipment of Wichita as recommended by Electric Superintendent Jamie Huber who requested it to replace a 1988 Vermleer chipper, which, he said, has had never-ending problems.

Bid price with tax was $42,170.72 after trade-in. Funds for the new unit will come from the city’s capital equipment line item, Huber said.

At the September 8 city meeting, commissioners commented on an early September Pratt Area Business Review Facebook posting by Brielle Vandervoort which drew attention to her city electric bill of $336.50-- generating 188 comments and 12 shares.

“We haven’t changed anything in the rate structure,” Pinkall said. “Usage is up. My bill went up, too.”

Pinkall said city electric meters are read electronically, eliminating the possibility of human error.

“Our rates are still cheaper than most,” said Pratt Director of Electric Utilities Jamie Huber who recommended changing filters as a possible way to save on electric usage.

By unanimous vote at the September 8 meeting, commissioners approved a resolution adopting a Comprehensive Fee Schedule which compiles all fees assessed by the city into a single 41-page document, organized by activity.

The new document does not affect existing fee charges.

Pratt City Attorney Regina Probst said the Comprehensive Fee Schedule is organized by activity.

“I think this is a really neat way to do it,” Mayor Schmidt said.

City fees covered by the Comprehensive Fee Schedule fall under 28 categories. Probst said the plan is to post the document on the City of Pratt Website,