FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 19, 2017
The City Council on Thursday passed an ordinance placing an $800 million infrastructure repair plan on the April 4 ballot, seeking resident approval for a comprehensive capital improvements program. The program would use revenue created by issuing approximately $40 million in bonds each year for 20 years.
“We will repair existing infrastructure citywide and finally tackle maintenance that has been deferred for too long,” said City Manager Troy Schulte.
Residents will see three ballot questions, and each one must receive a “Yes” vote of at least 57.1 percent of voters to be approved.
Question #1 calls for approving the issuance of $600 million in bonds to repair streets, bridges and sidewalks. This would include trails, as well as create a city-funded sidewalk repair program that would eliminate homeowner assessments. Some $150 million would be dedicated to sidewalks.
Question #2 calls for approving the issuance of $150 million in bonds to improve flood control to prevent floodwaters from backing up into homes and businesses.
Question #3 calls for approving the issuance of $50 million in bonds to repair public buildings. This would include replacing the outdated animal shelter, in partnership with private fundraising, and renovating public buildings to satisfy federal ADA requirements.
A key feature of the plan calls for a complete change in the way the City repairs sidewalks. The bonds would create revenue to allow the City to pay for residential sidewalks repairs, rather than charging homeowners. The city would create a program to systematically evaluate, repair and replace sidewalks. The goal is to make it through two citywide cycles over 20 years.
The bonds would be repaid through a modest property tax increase. For a household with a $140,000 home and a $15,000 car, the property tax would average an additional $8 in the first year, rising to an $160 average additional payment in year 20, the final year of the bond program.
The Council also passed a companion resolution that outlines specifics of the process for prioritizing projects through the existing Citywide Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan, as well as the annual reporting requirements for the program. View a list of possible street and bridge projects submitted with the resolution.
Projects would be prioritized based on several factors, including those that: are shovel-ready, already in the current Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan, leverage grants or private resources, promote new development, improve public safety and/or address state or federal mandates.
For more information, please visit kcmo.gov/infrastructure.
Media inquiries should be directed to City Communications Director Chris Hernandez, 816-513-3474.