KCI takes center stage as voters head to the polls - KCTV5

KCI takes center stage as voters head to the polls

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The city has chosen Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate as the firm to lead the project. (KCTV5) The city has chosen Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate as the firm to lead the project. (KCTV5)
Financing for the new terminal will be paid back from airport revenues, and the city will continue to own and operate the airport. (KCTV5) Financing for the new terminal will be paid back from airport revenues, and the city will continue to own and operate the airport. (KCTV5)
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Voters in Kansas City, MO are deciding whether to approve a proposed $1 billion project to build a new privately financed airport in the city.

Several issues and races are on the ballots but a vote to determine the future of Kansas City International Airport will take the cake.

Tuesday's vote comes after years of debate on whether to demolish the current three horseshoe-shaped terminals at Kansas City International Airport and replace them with a single terminal.

Supporters argue the current 45-year-old airport has outlived its usefulness and gives an embarrassing first impression to travelers and business leaders. They say the single terminal would provide more security, more comfort for passengers and the possibility of more flights. It also would be funded by user fees and the airlines, not tax dollars.

Opponents want to redesign and renovate the current structures. They say the single terminal would be less secure and less convenient for travelers.

Kansas City native Matt Auld says he doesn't mind the airport now but would like to have more options inside the gate. 

"There are some amenities in larger airports that are nice to enjoy when you have layovers and long days where you may want to enjoy a cold beverage," Auld said. "I don’t mind the airport the way it is today. I don’t find large crowds here, certainly, like I would in Denver or Chicago."

The city has chosen Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate as the firm to lead the project.

Edgemoor released their first rendering for a single-terminal design at Kansas City International Airport on Oct. 5.

Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill, an internationally-known architecture firm, has incorporated elements that reflect Kansas City’s cultural heritage into the preliminary design. The two-story fountain in the center of the terminal would include technology to project messages and colors on the cascading water to welcome travelers.

Convenience for travelers is a major element of the design as well. The design features close-in parking, and a two-level curbside pick-up and drop-off area which will be faster and more convenient for travelers. Also, waiting areas at each gate will have room for the increased number of passengers on today’s planes.

Financing for the new terminal will be paid back from airport revenues, and the city will continue to own and operate the airport.

Ruben Garcia travels to Kansas City often and says he agrees with the new concept but likes the current convenience.

"I am for it, but I hope they don’t mess it up in terms of making the lines longer and improve the infrastructure," Garcia said. 

City leaders say the design would bring in more direct flights.

Tuesday’s vote will be a once in a generation decision, but not everyone has been on board with this project.

Right now, KCI operates as a horseshoe design with three separate terminals.

The organization, Citizens for Responsible Government, has stood firmly against the single terminal project since the beginning. They say ticket prices will go up and there will be fewer flights.

Also on Tuesday’s ballot, Missourians will vote on a new state representative.

Republican David Martin, Democrat Barbara Anne Washington and Green Party candidate Daniel Trott are running to represent District 23.

There's also a state senate race, east of Kansas City.

Democrat Hillary Shields, Republican Mike Cierpoit, and Independent Jacob Turk are facing off for the open state senate seat. That race will take place in District Eight, which covers parts of Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Oak Grove and Grain Valley.

Also for Missourians, Tuesday could be the first time to abide by the new voter identification law, which took effect in 2017.

Voters have a few options.

Their first choice is to show a state license, passport or military identification card.

Another option is to show a bank statement. In that case, voters will also have to sign a statement.

Voters who don't have their id, but are registered, can cast a provisional ballot.

On the Kansas side, voters will decide who will serve as the Unified Government mayor-CEO. Incumbent Mark Holland will run against David Alvey. 

Voters will also decide who will serve as mayor of Overland Park. Incumbent Carl Gerlach will run against Charlotte O'Hara.

Polls in Missouri open at 6 a.m. and in Kansas at 7 a.m. Both states will close at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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