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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Old foundation discovered at Animal Control site

  • It's been less than two months since the groundbreaking for a new Animal Control facility in Leavenworth. And a few problems already have surfaced resulting in change orders.
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  • It's been less than two months since the groundbreaking for a new Animal Control facility in Leavenworth. And a few problems already have surfaced resulting in change orders.
    One of the problems resulted from the discovery of a foundation for an old building that apparently no one knew existed. Another change order resulted from an estimate for the installation of a water line that is substantially more than what was budgeted.
    The site of the new Animal Control facility is located off of Third Street near the Price Chopper store.
    The old concrete foundation, which had been hidden buried, was discovered during excavation work at the site, according to Police Chief Pat Kitchens.
    Leavenworth Animal Control operates as part of the Police Department.
    Kitchens described the underground foundation as being massive. He said its located in an area where utilities for the new shelter will be placed. It was determined the foundation needs to be removed.
    City officials say that don't know what building stood on the foundation.
    "We have no idea," Bob Patzwald, deputy public works director, told city commissioners during a meeting earlier this week.
    According to Patzwald, a business owner in that area believes there was a horse rendering plant at that location around the turn of the last century. And the city clerk has found a reference to a steel company in connection to that area.
    Patzwald speculated the building could have been associated an old sanitary landfill from the 1960s.
    The cost of removing the foundation will be $16,668.
    According to Kitchens, another issue came up with the discovery of what he referred to as "soft spots" in the soil. As part of the excavation work, soil already was being removed from the site and replaced with dirt left over from another project in the city. But the discovery of the two "soft spots" required the removal of more soil. This additional work, which was given a price tag of $9,720, is designed to ensure a solid base for the construction project.
    A more expensive change order arose from the cost estimate for the installation of a water line that will service the new Animal Control shelter.
    Kitchens said an architect had budgeted $15,000 for the city's share for the water line based on the idea that the Leavenworth Water Department would pay for half of the total cost.
    Water Department officials have agreed to pay for half, but the estimate for the total cost is $111,348, making the city's share $55,674. When calculating the $15,000 that was budgeted for the water line, the city is facing an additional expense of $40,674.
    Kitchens told city commissioners the main reason for the discrepancy in estimates was the anticipated use of different materials.
    Page 2 of 2 - "Our architect used a standard industrial number," he said.
    But the Water Department is using upgraded materials to protect the water supply from possible contaminants.
    City Manager Scott Miller told commissioners during Tuesday night's meeting that the water line may not end up costing as much as has been estimated. He called the Water Department estimate the maximum amount of money that would be spent.
    Commissioner Davis Moulden noted Tuesday that he previously argued against constructing the new Animal Control shelter at the Third Street location.
    "I feel like I've been vindicated," he said.
    Despite Moulden's objections, the other members of the commission approved the requested change orders related to the water line and excavating work. Moulden said he was voting against the change orders. But he left the room before the vote was taken, and no vote was recorded on his behalf.
    According to Finance Director Dan Williamson, there is enough money budgeted for the Animal Control project to cover the additional expenses.
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