Pratt County Commission: Memorial, road grader fix and letter of support approved

Michael W. Blackford
Pratt Tribune
Lewis Mayes, Jr. of Pratt was an avid fisherman at Pratt County Veterans Memorial Lake. He will be memorialized at pier #2 but his wife.

Pratt resident Roberta Mayes brought a special request to the November 1 Pratt County Commission meeting. She told commissioners she would like to post a memorial sign on pier #2 at the Pratt County Veterans Lake. The sign would simply say, “Papa’s Pier," in memory of Mayes husband, Lewis Mayes, Jr, who died recently. He enjoyed fishing from that pier.

Mayes said that she plans on paying for and maintaining the sign.

“We have a lot of vandalism and we would not be responsible for replacing it,” said Pratt County commissioner Rick Shriver, during the discussion.

Mayes acknowledged that and agreed to take care of it if that type of problem should arise.

The commissioners granted unanimous permission to Mayes to go ahead with her plans for a memorial sign at pier #2.

Doug Fruend, Road Department Supervisor, brought news of engine problems on a county road grader. Fruend said he was wanting direction on whether he should fix it or replace the engine. County shop mechanics have told him that over 50,000 parts are on back order and waiting for all the parts he would need may take awhile, Fruend said. He has found a long block but it will cost more than the specific parts needed.

Commissioner Dwight Adams said fix it. Commissioner Tom Jones agreed.

"We’ll get some back when we trade it in," said Shriver.

The commissioner voted unanimously to replace the engine in order to keep the grader usable this winter.

PRMC Darrell Lavender brought news to the commission of a new distinction for the hospital. DNV-GL accreditation allows, among other things, the hospital to be considered ‘in network’ for Walmart employees. Lavender shared the hospital still maintains it’s 5 star rating.

Alan Waites said that the Pratt Urgent Care facility has had to close from time to time because of staffing shortages and employee illness.

“Because of the shortages, employee illness has a greater impact on staffing,” Waites said.

Commissioner Jones asked how many people short the care center was.

“About a dozen,” Waites said.

“Between nurses and aides,” Lavender said.

 The pair assured the commissioners they are trying to correct the problem, but it is widespread.

Arrowhead West sent a letter requesting a ‘Letter of Support’ from the county. If Arrowhead West can present a letter of support from Pratt County to KDOT, they can get $10K from them.

Heather Morgan, economic development consultant, explained that a transfer of under $100 is going to each small city and Pratt will receive an additional $3500 from COVID-related funds.

“As the state finishes the calculations, there were a few adjustments in amounts due each entity," Morgan said.