Schmidt reappointed to serve Pratt as Mayor; city conducts first-of-year business

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Pratt City Manager Bruce Pinkall presents outgoing Pratt city commissioner Doug Meyer with a Key to the City at his last meeting Monday.

Pratt City Commissioner Gary Schmidt will continue to serve as mayor of Pratt for 2021 with commissioner Don Peters taking office as vice-mayor, their appointments unanimously approved at the January 11 regular meeting at City Hall. Newly-elected commissioners Jeannette Siemens and Kyle Farmer were installed at the same meeting after taking the Oath of Office administered by City Clerk LuAnn Kramer.

Pratt City Manager Bruce Pinkall commended outgoing commissioners Doug Meyer and Jason Leslie for their service, presenting Meyer with a ‘Key to the City’ and Leslie with a desk plaque.

Meyer was not eligible to seek reelection because of Pratt city’s two-term limit provision and Leslie had announced prior to the election that he had opted not to seek a second term.

“Your commitment and drive, along with your pride in Pratt, make us proud,” Pinkall told Meyer, whose city commission tenure had also included a term as mayor.

 “You helped make Pratt a better place to live, work and visit,” said Pinkall.

Meyer said serving as city commissioner for six years had made him more appreciative of the behind-the-scenes work of city employees.

“I had always assumed that when I turned on the water, I would get water, and when I turned on the lights, there would be lights,” Meyer said. “Serving as a commissioner gave me a better understanding of the behind-the-scenes work of city staff.”

In his final words as city commissioner, Meyer gave kudos to the Fire Chief David Kramer and to Pratt Police Chief Nate Humble for protection provided by their departments.

Pinkall also presented Schmidt with a Mayor’s Gavel Plaque, saying, “You’ve set an example for all of us to follow.”

Schmidt has served on the commission for one term, coming on board after the 2016 election.

Pinkall also reported that Pratt City sales tax receipts collected in 2020 totaled $2.2 million.

“We held steady, even though COVID gave us some challenges,” Pinkall said.

In other business, Pratt City Commissioners:

* Approved proposed plans outlined by Stacy Hanson for a community-wide event October 8-10 that Hanson envisioned encompassing activities for all ages, including yoga at Lemon Park, karaoke at Merchants Park, drama clubs at Jack Ewing Park and live music for dancing.

* Adopted an ordinance to rezone property at 105 North Oak--formerly the Pratt Boys’ Home—from R-4 Multi-Family to C-C Highway Service, as recommended by the Pratt City Planning Commission.

* Approved 2021 Cereal Malt Beverage License for Kwik Sop at 116 Washington Street.

* Accepted the low bid of $744,514 by Vogts Parga Construction LLC of Newton,--of which the city’s share is $37,000—for the U.S. 54 highway project from New to Mound Street, with work expected to begin in late spring or early fall, according to Pratt Public Works Director Russ Rambat.

* Designated The Peoples Bank, Legacy Bank and First State Bank as official city depositories and The Pratt Tribune as the official city newspaper for legal publications.

* Heard Pinkall report that the sales tax for December, which was actually October sales, was $182,266.93 and a little below last year. The totals together showed that $2.2M was collected, steady even though COVID was challenging.