City employees have much to do before Miss Kansas 2021 comes to town in July

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Scott Huffman is hard at work in the summer heat painting curbs yellow throughout Pratt as part of a citywide spruce-up plan.

City of Pratt employee Scott Huffman has been hard at work scraping and repainting yellow curbage in the downtown corridor for the past several weeks, all part of a citywide spruce-up planned for Pratt. The heat is on to get the job done by the middle of next month.

"We have to get this all done in time for the 2021 Miss Kansas pageant in July," said Huffman. "We've got all of Main Street done but there is a lot of work to be done on the side streets. It doesn't help that we are down four employees right now."

According to CIty of Pratt Street Department Foreman Nick Lauffer, repainting street curbage on Main Street, Jackson and Ninnescah streets and connecting streets between those main shopping areas, the court house and law enforcement center, is an annual task. This year, there just aren't enough employees to get it all done. Job openings remain unfilled.

Huffman is the only city employee currently on the job to hand-scrape and apply new yellow paint curb by curb.

"It will get easier next week when there are four of us scheduled to fire up the paint machines," Lauffer said. "We have two paint machines and each one takes two people to operate. We hope to be back in full force very soon."

Lauffer said rainy weather has caused some delays in getting the paint on to spruce-up Pratt street curbs.

"It just seems that as soon as you touch a bucket of paint around here, the rain comes," Lauffer said on Friday. "We need some sunny days to get this all done, and hopefully we will get that."

In addition to painting curbs yellow, Lauffer said that the street department would be repainting parking stalls and handicapped-reserve spots in the near future.

"We just ask that people keep an eye out for us while we are working on this," he said. "Pay attention to where you are parking and how close you come to us while we are painting. We don't want any accidents."

The Miss Kansas’ Outstanding 2021 Teen Competition will be held on Saturday, June 12 in Carpenter Auditorium at Pratt Community College. The Miss Kansas 2021 final competition will be held in Pratt on Saturday, July 10, in the Dennis Lesh Arena, also at PCC with preliminary competitions conducted on July 8 and 9.