Muskego - Bids for the new Muskego City Hall came in 28 percent higher than anticipated, prompting city officials to review plans for possible cost savings. The project will be rebid early next year, said Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti.

The city hall project was estimated at $7.55 million.

Instead of starting the project this year, construction will not be until next year, assuming bids come in lower.

Alderman Kevin Kubacki said of the delay, "It probably isn't the worst thing in the world, because we would have needed quite a bit of winter heating."

"Building in the spring probably will be less a costly time to build," Kubacki said. "Hopefully, rebidding and what they call value engineering will bring the project in at the budgeted amount."

That "value engineering" that's going on now may involve choosing less costly materials and lighting selections, he speculated.

Reacting to the over bids, Alderman Tom Kapusta said, "Nothing surprises me anymore with this stuff."

The architect and common council have a lot to do to find ways to economize.

"A lot of ideas have to be put on the table," Kapusta said. "It's a work in progress."

The council is working on plans to get them under budget, said Alderman John Engelhardt. "We're trying to get the best deal we can for the city."

One of 3 projects

The city hall project is one of three building initiatives  the council have approved. After the city hall is built south of the current building, remodeling of that building will start to make it into a new police station.  A police addition also will be built on part of what is now the city hall parking lot. The total police department cost is estimated at $7.6 million.The third project involves the Department of Public Works garage, $3.2 million.

The council approved borrowing $7.1 million for the public works garage and part of the city hall project. Another $10.1 million borrowing will take place for the rest of the city hall project and future police station, Chiaverotti said. Approximately $1.1 million of design costs have been funded through landfill funds, fees paid by Advance Disposal to be allowed to operate a landfill within the city.

Even with the borrowing, the city's portion of the 2017 property tax rate will fall 2 cents per $1,000 of property value, city officials said.

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