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13-1017. Estimate of cost of improvements; contracts; bids; bond issue, when. Before undertaking the construction or reconstruction of any sidewalk, curb, gutter, bridge, pavement, sewer or any other public improvement of any street, highway, public grounds or public building or facility, or any other kind of public improvement in any city of the first class is commenced or ordered by the governing body, or under its authority, a detailed estimate of the cost of the improvements shall be made under oath by the city engineer (or some other competent person, appointed for such purposes by the governing body). Such estimate shall be submitted to the governing body for its action thereon. In all cases where the estimated cost of the contemplated building, facility or other improvement amounts to more than $2,000, sealed proposals for the improvement shall be invited by advertisement, published by the city clerk once in the official city paper. The governing body shall let all such work by contract to the lowest responsible bidder, if there is any whose bid does not exceed the estimate.

If no responsible person proposes to enter into the contract at a price not exceeding the estimated cost, all bids shall be rejected and the same proceedings as before repeated, until some responsible person by sealed proposal offers to contract for the work at a price not exceeding the estimated cost. If no responsible bid is received within the estimate, the governing body shall have power to make the improvement within the estimated cost thereof, and shall further have the power to purchase the necessary tools, machinery, apparatus and materials; employ the necessary labor; and construct the necessary plant or plants for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this act. In no case shall the city be liable for anything beyond the estimated cost or the original contract price for doing such work or making such improvements.

Before any type of public improvements is commenced, the money to pay for the same must be available in the city treasury as provided by law or provision may be made for the issuance of internal improvement bonds to pay for any such improvement as provided by law. This section shall not be construed to include any repair or maintenance work not amounting to substantial alteration, addition or change in any structure, street or facility. "Public improvement" as used herein shall not include the making of repairs or the maintenance of any building, street, sidewalk or other public facility in such cities by employees of such cities or the making of any expenditures from the city budget for such purposes.

History: L. 1903, ch. 122, § 153; L. 1909, ch. 68, § 1; L. 1913, ch. 90, § 1; L. 1917, ch. 99, § 1; R.S. 1923, § 13-1017; L. 1953, ch. 81, § 1; L. 1981, ch. 173, § 35; July 1.

Source or prior law:

L. 1881, ch. 37, § 22; L. 1883, ch. 34, § 3.

Cross References to Related Sections:

Procedures for correction of bids based on mistakes, see 75-6901 et seq.

Attorney General's Opinions:

City ordinances; validity of local preference legislation. 85-121.

Creating indebtedness in excess of funds unlawful; exceptions. 89-28.


1. Cases construing former laws relating to this subject. Gilmore, County Clerk, v. Hentig, 33 Kan. 156, 165, 5 P. 781; Hentig v. Gilmore, County Clerk, 33 Kan. 234, 239, 6 P. 304; Mason v. Spencer, County Clerk, 35 Kan. 512, 11 P. 402; Comm'rs of Shawnee Co. v. City of Topeka, 39 Kan. 197, 200, 18 P. 161; Manley v. Emlen, 46 Kan. 655, 661, 27 P. 844; Kansas City v. Gray, 62 Kan. 198, 203, 61 P. 746; Kansas City v. Cullinan, 65 Kan. 68, 70, 68 P. 1099; Surety Co. v. Brick Co., 73 Kan. 196, 202, 84 P. 1034; Railroad Co. v. Kansas City, 73 Kan. 571, 85 P. 603; Bonding Co. v. Dickey, 74 Kan. 791, 796, 88 P. 266.

2. "Lowest responsible bidder" defined. Williams v. City of Topeka, 85 Kan. 857, 860, 861, 118 P. 864.

3. Determination of "lowest responsible bidder" by city. determination final; exception. Williams v. City of Topeka, 85 Kan. 857, 860, 861, 118 P. 864.

4. Engineer's estimate may be raised before contract is made to correct error. Guilick v. City of Cherryvale, 122 Kan. 210, 251 P. 399. Rehearing denied: 122 Kan. 849, 252 P. 905.

5. Cited in holding paving contract requiring use of patented process illegal. Lamborn v. Hutton, 132 Kan. 226, 227, 294 P. 676.

6. Statute not controlling where city has opted out by adoption of charter ordinance under Home Rule Amendment. Andersen Construction Co. v. City of Topeka, 228 Kan. 73, 80, 612 P.2d 595.

7. Statute for protection of public, not bidders; unsuccessful bidder's remedy is to seek injunctive relief. Sutter Bros. Constr. Co. v. City of Leavenworth, 238 Kan. 85, 92, 708 P.2d 190 (1985).

8. Cited; bid requirements for minority business participation in highway construction project receiving federal financial assistance examined. Gilbert Cent. Corp. v. Kemp, 637 F. Supp. 843, 846 (1986).

9. Based on concept of promissory estoppel, unsuccessful "lowest responsible bidder" is entitled to costs for preparation of bid when its bid was rejected for conditions not stated in bid documents. Ritchie Paving, Inc. v. City of Deerfield, 275 Kan. 157, 61 P.3d 669 (2003).

10. Unsuccessful lowest responsible bidder can sue for bid preparation costs based on promissory estoppel. Ritchie Paving, Inc. v. City of Deerfield, 275 Kan. 631, 61 P.3d 669 (2003).

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