Pratt County commissioners discuss COVID-19 funding

Michael Blackford
Pratt Tribune
The concrete base for the Pratt County Public Safety Building is now visible as construction continues just east of Pratt along U.S. Highway 54/400.

Pratt County commissioners heard June 21, at their regular Monday meeting, that the Pratt County Health Department and the Pratt Senior Center may receive some additional funding along with small towns in the area as state and county COVID-19 monies become reality. 

Commissioner Rick Shriver reported that the Law Enforcement Center windows are in and well received by both police and sheriff personnel. The jail windows and the doors still need to be installed.  

Shriver had made a walk-though inspection of the Pratt Public Safety Building construction zone and reported that all concrete pads for the new building will soon be poured. Interior block walls are rising above the concrete. The metal beams and supports should arrive soon, as well as the crane to lift them into place, he said. 

Commissioners heard a report from Catherine Rohrer who said she is anticipating a heavy workload the rest of the year. The state office returned to normal hours a couple of weeks ago. Prosecutions will begin and they have a backlog from the first half of the year while they were not holding court. A juvenile intake specialist was hired to help with that part of the workload. 

Rachel Harper reported that although they are short one counselor, it has not been a problem since the courts have not sent anyone to treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Harper said she expects the numbers will go up now that court is in session again. Pratt County opioid numbers are better than last reported but are still higher than the state averages. Harper also suggested that Pratt County could benefit from a sober living facility locally. That is where the largest unmet need exists in the county, she said. 

Pratt County Sherriff White reported that the sheriff's department had hired another person for the jail. White also informed the commissioners that the department bought a small, enclosed trailer for equipment. 

Tiffany Ailstock, Director of Senior Services, reported the Pratt Senior Center handbook is in the process of being updated.