City approves fire station boiler replacement

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

When they met this week, Leavenworth city commissioners approved the replacement of two boilers at a fire station.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Shore said the new boilers will replace ones that were installed when Fire Station No. 1, 3600 S. 20th St., was built in 2000.

"They're 21 years old," Shore said.

He said the existing boilers are at the end of their effective lifespan. During the last three years, the maintenance cost of the station's boiler system has exceeded $35,000.

"They require a lot of maintenance every year," Shore said.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a bid from Rand Construction Company, Kansas City, Missouri, in the amount of $54,700 for the replacement of the two boilers.

Rand Construction submitted the lowest bid for the project.

Four bids were submitted, but one of the bids was considered incomplete.

The city budgeted $85,000 this year for the project as part of its capital improvements program.

An engineer's estimate for the project had placed the cost at $120,000, according to information presented to commissioners.

Commissioner Mike Griswold noted that the second lowest bid was from a Leavenworth company, Mr. Breeze Heating & Cooling, in the amount of $56,357.

City Manager Paul Kramer said the city has a policy of going with a local bidder if bids are within 1% of each other. He said the bid from Mr. Breeze Heating & Cooling is not within 1% of the low bid.

Commissioner Mark Preisinger said the term boiler sounds antiquated.

"To me, a boiler just sounds old school," he said.

Shore said the term boiler has been around a long time. But he said new boilers are nothing like the ones found in the basements of old buildings.

He said new boilers are very efficient.

Shore noted that the fire station is manned around the clock. He said the two boilers will be set up to alternate in their operation.

He said this will help extend the life of each boiler. He said it also provides redundancy if one of the boilers needs repairs.

Shore said both boilers can fire up at the same time during really cold periods.

Also Tuesday, commissioners reached a consensus to advance an ordinance to rezone the property at 520 N. Seventh St. from an office business district to a neighborhood business district.

Julie Hurley, director of planning and community development, said an office business district restricts properties to "office-type uses." But a neighborhood business district allows more retail and service-oriented uses.

A barbershop already is located on the property. And Hurley said the owner is hoping to open a tattoo and piecing shop in a vacant portion of the building.

The ordinance will come back to commissioners for a final vote during a future meeting.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

• Advanced an ordinance that will change the start time of regular City Commission meetings.

Currently, meetings generally start at 7 p.m. The ordinance would change the start time to 6 p.m.

The ordinance will come back to commissioners during a future meeting for a final vote.

City Manager Paul Kramer said city officials plan to implement the change to the start time in January. He said this will allow time to get the word out regarding the change.

• Approved a charter ordinance that provides additional language related to uniform complaints and notices to appear filed with Leavenworth Municipal Court.

Police Chief Pat Kitchens said the ordinance makes a change concerning the ability of Animal Control officers to take immediate enforcement action that matches existing procedure.

• Voted for the city to hold on to a portion of insurance funds for a house at 1006 Kickapoo St. that was damaged by fire. The city will hold on to the funds for up to 90 days to allow time for repairs to be made to the house.