When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the construction of a new Animal Control facility. But they also agreed to study the planned location of the facility.
The resolution is intended to be the first of several actions related to issuing general obligation bonds to pay for the project, which is estimated to cost $2.26 million. This estimate includes the cost of the construction as well as furnishing and equipment for the new 7,700 square foot facility.
The resolution passed unanimously. Later during the meeting, Commissioner Davis Moulden asked to have a study session to look at the planned location of the new Animal Control shelter.
"We really need to study this site," he said.
The planned location is on city-owned land near the Leavenworth Price Chopper store. Moulden has complained the location is the site of former dump. He prefers building the Animal Control shelter on city-owned land near the Municipal Service Center.
Commissioners agreed to placing the matter on a study session.
City Manager Scott Miller said the matter can be placed on the agenda for next week's study session. He said city officials will hold off on putting out the project for bids until after next week's meeting.
Before passing the resolution to authorize the project, commissioners heard from audience member David Drake.
Drake, who's a local business owner, suggested commissioners alter construction plans to allow for what he described as a steel building. He suggested this could reduce the cost of the project.
"It just seemed to be excessive for what we're trying to accomplish," he said of the estimated cost.
He said budgets are stretched for everyone.
After Drake had finished his remarks, Moulden said commissioners already had hashed out this issue.
"Where have you been all these weeks?" he asked.
Drake said he had contacted a couple of the other commissioners about the issue in January.
Mayor Larry Dedeke said Drake had missed a Feb. 19 study session when commissioners discussed possible ways to reduce the cost of the construction.
"We had quite a debate on it," he said.
Dedeke said commissioners ended up going back to the plan that previously had been presented to them.
"I would like to see where the bids come in," he said.
He said commissioners still can take other action if the bids are too high.
Commissioner Mark Preisinger said commissioners had looked at using a metal building during the study session but architects indicated it wouldn't amount to a huge savings.
Another audience member, Ann Divine, addressed the commissioners.
Divine, a long time member of the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society and volunteer at Animal Control, said it's not the exterior that is making the building as expensive as the estimate. She said it's the unique characteristics of what the building has to do.
Page 2 of 2 - "You can't build it for cheaper than that," she said.
Moulden brought up the issue of studying the planned location at the end of the meeting when each commissioner was given the opportunity to make comments.
Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Janas Gasbarre noted the resolution authorizing the project had been approved.
Dedeke said the commissioners would discuss the matter during a study session.