KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Construction on a new Kansas City airport is set to begin later this month, but how the city is going to pay for it is still up in the air and some worry the city may be in over its head.
This week we learned the city has set a groundbreaking date of March 25 for the new airport, which sounds great. However, there’s still a tiny detail to nail down first: How is the city going to pay for it?
In committee on Thursday, the city approved a loan of up to $90 million with the goal of covering some of the $1.5 billion cost of the project. That $90 million in bonds would cover what’s already been spent by Edgemoor, which is the developer.
The airport committee also proposed tweaking the city’s master bond ordinance to allow for the bond type they plan to sell to finance the rest of the costs.
They feel like it is a good solution given the timing and the overall plan. However, not everybody was sold on it.
City Councilmember Teresa Loar has been an outspoken skeptic of the new terminal. She essentially says that, by issuing debt instead of using public airport revenue bonds, it’s all going to come back and bite the city. She describes the whole plan as a complicated, convoluted shell game.
To clarify, the groundbreaking date for construction is scheduled for March 25, but the bonds can be sold until the city and the airlines finalize and sign off on a deal detailing the fees carriers will pay. That’s not expected to happen until May.
The full city council doesn’t meet next week but plans to take up the airport committee recommendations on March 21.
Early construction activities are underway. This week, crews began drilling auger-cast test piles to ensure they meet structural design requirements for the #NewKCI and parking structure. #Progress pic.twitter.com/vmyLvPbThP— KCI-Edgemoor (@KCIEdgemoor) March 8, 2019