Lots at Sandy Creek Addition to go on sale September 1 in Pratt

Michael Blackford
Pratt Tribune
Pratt City commissioners recently approved a plan to offer lots at Sandy Creek Addition on the northern side of Pratt at a reduced rate in order to promote new home-building in city limits. The lots, owned by the city, go on sale on September 1, 2021.

Pratt City commissioners voted unanimously to reduce the prices for lots in the Sandy Creek Addition on the northeast side of Pratt at their regularly scheduled meeting August 2. The sale of the lots will begin Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Brad Blankenship, Building Inspector, introduced the Sandy Creek Addition for discussion during the first meeting of the month, noting specifically that the cost of the lots and the ability to buy and build across two lots has kept that area stagnant despite housing needs in Pratt.

"The cost of the lots are keeping them from selling," Blankenship said. "At over $40k for an empty lot, no one is buying them. And the lots on the cul-du-sac are so narrow that building a house on a single lot would be difficult."

Someone raised a question about whether Mayor Schmidt should excuse himself from voting on this issue because of his current residence.

City Attorney Regina Goff said there was no financial incentive for the mayor to vote either way so there was no conflict in him participating in a vote on the matter.

The commissioners decided to accept the recommendations of the Sandy Creek committee as follows: Cul-de-sac lots 43,44,45,46 and 47 will be sold as one unit with a 60% price reduction. Each lot must have a house built on it with a construction rate of one house per year, five years maximum. The remaining 9 lots will be sold individually at a 50% price reduction. Each lot sold must have a house built on it and construction must begin within 12 months of the deed transfer date. Buyer cannot transfer ownership or resell any lot without a newly constructed house on the lot.

On another matter, Blankenship presented a conditional use of property for 319 Simpson Street to the commissioners for approval of a business already in existence. Blankenship said that although a concrete plant already exists at this property, the city never changed the zoning to permit it or voted on a conditional use for it. A vote on the conditional use of the property would officially allow what is already happening at the site.

"It is good for the city to have two concrete companies in town," said Mayor Schmidt.

The full slate of city commissioner agreed, passing the permit as presented unanimously.

 In other business, city commissioners:

* Passed by unanimous vote Resolution 080221 as presented by Goff (via zoom) an ordinance that will allow the city to exempt certain city streets from prohibitions on drinking and consuming alcohol. This ordinance will allow events to get permission to sell/serve alcohol on city streets. Goff also presented Resolution 080221 which will allow the sale and consumption of alcohol at the Green Sports Complex. Commissioners passed both measures.

* Picked a second version of ordinance 2115, as presented by Goff, which authorizes the operation of work-site utility vehicles, micro utility vehicles, utility terrain vehicles, and golf carts on the street within the corporation limits of the city. Two versions were presented and discussed. The first would only require an owner to register their vehicle one time. The second version requires an owner to register their vehicle annually. The discussion quickly dismissed the first option in favor of an annual registration. This annual re-registration allows the city to confirm ownership and safety of the vehicle as well as checking the existence of insurance.

"I am concerned about the liability insurance if we only have them register their vehicles once," said Mayor Schmidt.

City Police Chief Nate Humble said he was concerned about the amount of work created for his department if records tracking each vehicle have to be updated annually, but city commissioners unanimously voted in favor of the second version.

* Heard Bruce Pinkall, Pratt City Manager, present health care insurance options, and voted to continue paying 100% of the cost of health insurance for individuals. Employees can pay the difference if they wish to add additional people to their insurance.

* Were informed by Jamie Huber, Director of Electric Utilities, that steam unit 5 was brought online August 2 and remained online all week for training and testing.

* Heard Luann Kramer, City Clerk, as she reminded everyone the City of Pratt Fire Department will have their car show on August 20 and 21.