Air duct system upgraded to stave off COVID-19

Gale Rose
Pratt County Sheriff works to keep novel coronavirus contaminents out of county headquarters.

The Pratt County Law Enforcement Center air duct system is undergoing an ultra violet treatment to combat COVID-19. The treatment to the HVAC system is being done to make sure contaminated air is not being recycled throughout the building, said Pratt County Sheriff Jimmy White during the April 6 Pratt County Commission meeting.

The treatment is being done in compliance with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment standards for detention facilities.

With the sheriff office, Pratt police department, dispatch center and jail all in one building, it is vital that all necessary steps are taken to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the building, White said.

“Unlike the courthouse, I can’t shut down,” White said. “I can’t have an outbreak in this building.”

In regards to the coronavirus, Public Health Director Darcie Van Der Vyver reported to the commissioners that as of April 6, there were four pending COVID-19 cases in Pratt County. Test results for these potential cases had not yet been received. Van Der Vyver continues to take part in webinars with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to stay on top of things, Kruse said.

Van Der Vyver said she is purchasing four hand-held radios for the Health Department. The radios will be used for emergency preparedness. They will be purchased from CDS for a total of $2,094 from the special equipment fund.

Pratt County has received a shipment of Personal Protective supplies from the national stockpile. Pratt County Emergency Manager Tim Branscom updated the commissioners on the situation at their Monday meeting.

These supplies will be shared with all health care facilities in the county. Applications for more supplies will continue to be submitted, said Pratt County clerk Sherry Kruse.

Branscom said he continues to receive COVID-19 updates every day from the Kansas Department of Emergency Management.

Pratt County Economic Development Director Heather Morgan announced local recipients of grant money for small businesses during a conference call with the commissioners. Receiving $15,000 will be Joni’s Stitch by Stitch, The Flower Shoppe, Lisa’s Western Wear, KT Graphics, Signature Style Saloon, Legends, Dan Gillig State Farm and Hampton and Hampton Accounting. Small Town Curves will receive $10,000.

A couple of additional businesses submitted applications for the loans but the applications were incomplete.

Morgan told commissioners there had been significant changes in Small Business Administration loans and businesses needed to check with their banker about the changes, Kruse said.

One of the county trucks is headed to a Dodge City Caterpillar facility for an engine overhaul. County Road and Bridge Supervisor Doug Freund told the county commissioners that one of the Peterbuilt trucks, with a Caterpillar engine, was producing bad oil samples and needed the repair work that will cost $22,600. Repair work will begin as soon as possible, Kruse said.

Water has been turned on at the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake. At this time the restrooms are closed and will remain closed until further notice due to COVID-19 restrictions. Water is available for the camping area that remains open. The piers and fishing also remain open.

Pratt County Counselor Tyson Eisenhauer reported that 16 tax-sale tracts have been fully redeemed. Notification of the remaining tracts will be published.

Kruse said revenues all over the state are going to be down and that will impact, school districts, colleges, universities, city and county governments and the state.

The second half of taxes are due May 10. Tax payments can be mailed to: Pratt County Treasurer, P.O. Box 905, Pratt, Kansas 67124. For tax payment questions, contact the Treasurers office at 672-4116.