Leavenworth’s police chief plans to meet with city commissioners later this month to offer revised plans for a new Animal Control center. The chief and an architect are looking for ways to reduce the project’s price tag at the request of commissioners.
The new Animal Control center, which will be constructed on city-owned land near the Leavenworth Price Chopper store, will replace the current facility located at 1720 S. 2nd St.
Police Chief Pat Kitchens said he tentatively plans to meet with commissioners during a Feb. 19 study session. Kitchens and architect Rick Kuhl met with commissioners this past week to discuss the project. And commissioners requested that the estimated construction cost be reduced.
According to Dan Williamson, finance director for the city, the project currently is estimated to cost $2.5 million. This includes design, construction and furnishings.
The estimated cost for construction of the building is $2.06 million.
“I would love to bring that down,” Mayor Larry Dedeke said during Tuesday’s meeting.
Dedeke said idealistically he would like to reduce the construction cost by 25 percent.
The mayor said he supports the new shelter, but he feels the current design is too fancy especially on the exterior.
Kitchens told commissioners there’s two areas that can be cut — materials and size.
He said materials were selected to help prevent future maintenance needs.
Dedeke said he wanted durable materials to be used but the building doesn’t need all the bells and whistles.
Commissioner Mark Preisinger asked about ways to reduce cost without losing functionality.
Commissioners indicated they were OK with the planned size of the new facility.
The current facility is about 5,300 square feet. The new center will be more than 7,700 square feet.
Commissioner Phil Urban said he would like the reduction in the construction cost to be closer to 40 percent.
One suggestion he had for cutting costs is simplifying the building’s roofline.
Kitchens said the downside of simplifying the roofline is that the building will lose natural lighting.
Commissioner Davis Moulden said he didn’t like the planned location of the building. He said he liked it less after learning that additional measures will have to be taken in order to build on what used to be a landfill. These measures call for replacement of five feet of soil and the construction of pilings.
Moulden also believes the location will flood.
Kitchens said that location did not flood in 1993, which is the worst flood on record in Leavenworth.
Looking ahead to the Feb. 19 meeting, Kitchens said he likely will present a series of things that can be changed.
Page 2 of 2 - “We are looking at every aspect of the building,” he said.