City approves new turf at Green Sports Complex citing local economic boost in decision

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Infield improvements at Pratt's Green Sports Complex will be coming in 2021 as city commissioners approved turf installation at their January 18 meeting.

Artificial turf for all four infields at Green Sports Complex is no longer a dream on the drawing board, but a reality for the upcoming baseball/softball season, thanks to action taken by Pratt City Commissioners at their regular meeting Monday, January 18.

Pratt Recreation Director Larry Eisenhauer updated Mayor Gary Schmidt and Commissioners Don Peters, Zach Deeds, Jeanette Siemens and Kyle Farmer that a grant from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, along with cost sharing by USD 382 and community donations are sufficient to cover the cost of the upgrade, though the city coffers will be called on to pay some upfront expenses since the KDWPT grant of $300,000 will kick in as reimbursements based on the grant stipulations when the project is finished.

“In the long run, there’s no city money involved, no taxpayer money.” Eisenhauer said.

Commissioners unanimously approved the low bid of $649,900 submitted by Spinturf LLC with headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Four other bids from outstate firms ranged from $733,532 to $896,000.

Eisenhauer said Spinturf would be using local contractors to assist with the project, giving a boost to the Pratt community as well.

Goal is to have the turf in place for the spring practice in March, weather permitting, Eisenhauer said.

Pratt City Manager Bruce Pinkall gave kudos to Eisenhauer for his successful $430,000 fundraising efforts, which included donations of from Stanion Electric Wholesale Co., Inc, and from Trand, Inc.

A gift from the Keith and Violet Lamb Trust was also received, Eisenhauer said.

Pinkall said Eisenhauer created a lot of positive energy as he sought community support for this phase of the Green Sports Complex ballpark upgrade.

“It’s not just something Larry wants,” Pinkall said. “I think the community wants it as well, all bidding on the same dream.”

Eisenhauer said the turf will also position Pratt in vying for ball tournaments, another bonus since tournaments are a proven economic stimulus with games drawing fans who spend money on lodging, food and shopping.

In other business, commissioners reappointed Tom Jones and Rita Hitt to three-year terms on the Cemetery Board and gave approval for a Jake Gill concert at Jack Ewing Park on Sunday, January 31.