The Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake will be drained starting Monday so that repairs can be made to the inlet and outlet valves.

The first steps to repair damage to the inlet and outlet valves at the Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake will involve lowering the Ninnescah River and draining the lake.
Doug Freund, county road and bridge supervisor, said Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is scheduled to start drawing down the Ninnescah River on Monday, April 1 in preparation to drain the lake that is scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 9.
Staff from KDWPT will use electro shock and seine nets to remove as many game fish from the lake as possible.
Start time for repairs on the inlet and outlet valves will depend on when the water reaches the necessary level and when the company doing the repairs can begin.
Bids for the project are scheduled to be opened on Monday, April 8 at the county commission meeting.
The Commissioners have set June 21 as the deadline completion date for repairs, said Pratt County Clerk Sherry Kruse.
The outlet valve began leaking and a sink hole developed around the valve in 2018. On Labor Day 2018, a flood caused the sink hole to expand and deepen dramatically. The road around the lake has been blocked off to prevent traffic from getting near the sink hole. Damage to the inlet valve was also discovered after the flood so the Commissioners decided to repair both.
The Commissioners have set June 21 as completion day for the repairs.
Progress continues on developing an 88 acre site for the new county buildings for county fire, EMS and Emergency Services.
At the March 25 Commission meeting, Robert Torres, county environmental services, said soil samples at the site on the east edge of Pratt were conducive for an underground sewer system as opposed to a lagoon system that would be much more expensive. There is enough room for the necessary lateral lines for the underground system. He said he thinks all three proposed buildings could be on one system. Estimated cost is about $10,000 for each system.
The system will have to be able handle not only the expected daily usage but for days when many people are on site for meetings.
“You don’t want to undersize it and have to do it again,” Torres said.
More decisions have to be made on building size and location before choosing a sewage system for the site.
Pratt County Sheriff Jimmy White said EMC Insurance had inspected the Law Enforcement Center to determine the water damage issues in the building. There are issues with water leakage that is impacting the walls and windows and mold issues as well. The electrical wiring should also be evaluated.
More inspections will have to be done before a course of action is set, White said.
Bob Wetmore, co-director of Great Plains Development, presented the companies annual update to the commissioners. Great Plains helps businesses in cities across the county with loans and microloans for various projects. They have helped with over $93.9 million in loans since 1983. Loans have been used for business projects including vending machines, lawn service, insurance, hair salons, fire stations, sewer projects, motels, ethanol plant and many more.
Pratt County Commissioners will not meet the week of April 1. The next County Commission meeting will be at 4 p.m. on Monday, April 8 in the Commission room on the first floor of the Pratt County Courthouse.