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New pool plans put on hold

Fran Brownell
Pratt's Ellis D. Kinney Swimming Pool needs repair and city officials were considering replacement options, but those plans have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plans relating to a new swimming pool for Pratt have been put on hold for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic threat, according to Pratt City Manager Bruce Pinkall.

“There’s lots of things to consider,” Pinkall said. “We’re just going to have to put this on hold and wait until this pandemic is over and see how our financial situation is.”

The city has been conducting an online pool survey which is still posted on the City of Pratt Facebook site, but results of the survey have not yet been tallied for public announcement.

A pool committee established last October will also be put on hold, Pinkall said.

Local pool committee members are Liz Krehbiel, Joe Kramer, Willa Beth Mills, Beverly Crump, Chanielle Thibault, Jarrod Bishop and Kim DeClue, along with city staff Pratt Public Works Director Russ Rambat and Finance Director Diana Garten.

In the meantime, Rambat outlined for commissioners his department’s plans for updates to the city’s Ellis D. Kinney Swimming Pool at 201 South Haskell Street, which last summer was closed briefly for repair because of small cuts to the feet of some children.

Rambat said the crew will remove a lot of old material from the floor to keep the pool as functional as possible.

The decision about summer use of the pool will be made based on recommendations of health experts, Pinkall said, answering Commissioner Zach Deeds’ question about when and if the pool will be open.

Pool survey questions include preferred location with current location choices: in Sixth Street Park, near Green Sports Complex or other.

The survey has options to show strength of support from strongly support to strongly oppose and also seeks responses regarding funding of the project, from private donations to increases in property and/or sales tax, an additional fee on utility accounts, or a combination of the options and also includes the choice of not supporting the project.

Pinkall said the survey will remain online and the response will be used as a basis for evaluating options for a new pool when health issues and budgetary considerations are no longer a primary concern.

Completed in 1932, Pratt’s public swimming pool is the second-largest municipal swimming pool complete with water slide in the state of Kansas.