Pratt County Commission: Atteberry is new EMS director; Pratt bypass on KDOT 2022 schedule

Michael W. Blackford
Pratt Tribune
Brian Atteberry of Pratt has been hired as the new director of Pratt County EMS.

Pratt County commissioners unanimously approved a proposal to hire Brian Atteberry as the new Pratt County EMS Director at their regular October 4 meeting. Atteberry, who accepted the position offer, had been serving as the interim director since last month. At last Monday's meeting, Atteberry informed commissioners that he was changing the software training partner for EMS employees. The new company will allow local content to be recorded and made available to the users.

"This change will allow all employees to receive the same training regardless of their schedule," Atteberry said. "The software will also keep track of assigned and completed training for all employees."

Also at the October 9 meeting, Heather Morgan, Economic Development Consultant, had to keep her comments brief so she could continue attending a zoom meeting in regards to the Highway 54 bypass with KDOT.

"The addition of passing lanes west of Pratt are on the KDOT schedule for next year (2022)," Morgan said.

She urged the commissioners to discuss and formulate a proposal to present to KDOT about where the county would like to see it go through. She said that the bypass around Pratt was becoming more imminent and it would be in the best interest of the county to have it’s say since right now nothing is set in stone.

Tyson Eisenhauer, Commission Counselor, requested permission to use America Title again this year to produce the ‘Tax Foreclosure Certificates’. Eisenhauer has identified 102 properties that will begin the process. He acknowledged that the vast majority of them will be taken care of by the owners before foreclosure takes place.

"If the property owners pay up through 2017 pre-suit, it will stop the process," Eisenhauer said.

Property owners do not have to pay all of the taxes, but do have to bring them within two billing years.

Tim Branscom, Director of Emergency Management, brought information about the current tower that handles the emergency services radios for a five county area, of which Pratt participates.

"The maintenance costs for the tower are split by population in each of the counties. Pratt is the largest and has almost 50% of the total population and costs," Branscom said.

Branscom told the commissioners this next year the tower needs repairs. It is not currently up to FAA standards so lighting and/or painting needs to be addressed. The new lights being considered would eliminate the need to also paint the tower. The guide wires and fencing also need replaced. Pratt’s portion of all three would be close to $20,000. However, a federal grant is being sought after to replace the tower with a new one. If awarded the grant, the current tower would receive the new lights to keep it safe. Those lights can be used on the new tower. Pratt’s cost for the lights is a little over $6800. And the portion of the new tower that Pratt would be responsible for is about $72K with the grant and $175K without the grant.

Regarding progress at the Pratt County Public Safety Building construction site, commissioner Tom Jones said he drove past the new emergency building and it looks like concrete work is being started.

Chairman Rick Shriver said the next meeting he will have with the contractor is October 12 and he will report back progress on the project to the commission after that meeting.