Kansas City residents will vote this fall on an ordinance seeking approval for a new passenger terminal at Kansas City International (MCI).
The vote will take place Nov. 7.
The Kansas City Council narrowly beat a deadline for having the issue on the ballot this year when it voted this week. The wording of the question is general, seeking the authority to construct a new terminal and demolish existing structures, as necessary.
A “yes” vote, with a simple majority, would provide that approval. The vote will not specify exactly which development team or financing method will be used. The Kansas City Council will make those decisions soon so that voters will know the details of the project before the election.
“The ballot language provides the flexibility the city needs to move forward on this important project,” says Councilwoman Jolie Justus, who serves as airport committee chair. “We’ve had a great deal of community input, and now, as promised, we are asking KC voters to make their voices heard on airport redevelopment.”
The city has been interviewing four companies that issued proposals to privately finance the new airport. Each of the proposing companies has submitted answers asked by the selection committee. The answers will help provide an apples-to-apples comparison of financial plans, according to a news release issued by the city.
Regardless of the result of the November vote or the financing method selected if a new terminal is to be built, the city intends to maintain ownership and control of airport operations.
The issue of a new terminal has been under discussion several times over the course of many years. MCI currently has three horseshoe shaped terminals that have undergone several renovations over the years. Residents and opponents to building a new terminal say the buildings are easy to get to and convenient because parking is right across the street. Proponents of a new facility say the facilities lack modern amenities and are outdated.
“Civic unity is needed from the voters of Kansas City when they go to the ballot box to decide about our airport’s future,” says Councilmember Jermaine Reed, who also serves as transportation and infrastructure chair. “The City Council has set the tone, tenor and example of leadership and support today in its vote for unity.”