When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a bid for the construction of a new Animal Control facility that's less than an earlier estimate for the project.

When they met Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a bid for the construction of a new Animal Control facility that's less than an earlier estimate for the project.

Commissioners approved a bid from Wilcott Construction, Kansas City, Mo., in the total amount of $1.985 million, which was the low bid. Wilcott Construction will serve as the general contractor for the project.

An estimate from earlier this year had placed the cost of construction at $2.06 million.

During a meeting in February, commissioners discussed ways to reduce the cost of the project but ultimately made no changes to the design of the planned 7,728 square foot facility.

Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens asked commissioners Tuesday to approve a base bid of $1.895 million plus three alternate bids for an additional $98,200.

They approved the base bid and two of the alternatives for an additional $90,000.

They did not include an alternate bid for five additional tubular skylights after Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Preisinger raised concerns about skylights. This alternate would have cost $8,200.

The new Animal Control center will be constructed on city-owned land near the Leavenworth Price Chopper store. Kitchens said construction is estimated to take between nine and 12 months.

City Manager Scott Miller said construction work likely will begin next month.

Kitchens said there will be two additional allocation requests associated with the Animal Control project. They will be for expenses for testing and inspection as well as the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Preisinger expressed concern Tuesday about a change that was made to bid requirements regarding the installation of the building's metal roof. He also said he hopes the general contractor will hire subcontractors from Leavenworth.

When discussing the skylights, Preisinger expressed concern they will result in additional maintenance.

Commissioner Larry Dedeke said he supported eliminating the tubular skylights. He said the skylights could lead to additional electricity costs for cooling the building during the summer.

Commissioner Lisa Weakley noted the community already provided a lot of input about the project.

Dedeke said the issue wouldn't be over until commissioners voted on it.

"And we haven't voted yet," he said.

Miller said city officials could sit down with the architect and contractor to ascertain whether making such a change will result in a cost savings.

Mayor Laura Janas Gasbarre said the skylights may reduce the need for the use of electrical lighting and help warm the building during the winter.

"There's a lot of reasons why those skylights are there," she said.

Dedeke said it's a government building and every switch will be turned on.

Preisinger said he would like to leave out the alternate bid for the additional skylights. And commissioners approved the motion for the base bid and two other alternates. The vote was 4-0. Commissioner Davis Moulden was absent.

Also Tuesday, commissioners approved an amendment to an earlier resolution that authorized the Animal Control facility project. The amendment changed the bond authorization for the project. The amount was increased from $2.26 million to $2.35 million. City Clerk Karen Logan said the increased amount reflects the cost of construction as well as other expenses including bond issuance and interest.

Commissioners also approved a resolution authorizing the public sale of $3.86 million worth of general obligation bonds and $1.53 million in temporary notes. The bonds and notes will be used to pay for various projects including the new Animal Control center.