Kansas City proposes $800 million in bonds to fix roads, sidewalks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte laid out his $800 million plan to improve Kansas City streets and sidewalks Monday night.

In the beginning, funding bonds would cost property tax payers an average of about $7.50 per year. In 2037, when residents would still be paying off those bonds, that figure would be closer to $150 per year.

Schulte said Kansas City is comparable in size geographically to New York, meaning it has close to as many roads and sidewalks, but not nearly the amount of people to pay to fix them.

“Our infrastructure is hurting, Blue River Road needs to be done, there’s many projects that need to be done,” South Kansas City resident Cathy Knight-Kotzias said.

“They are having to repair their cars more, I’m sure it may contribute to accidents,” Kansas City Councilwoman Katheryn Shields said of the roads.

“We’ve got sewer pipes that date from the 1860's, we’ve got roads that date from the late 1880's," Schulte said.

Schulte was at the South Kansas City Alliance Meeting to start laying the groundwork to ask voters for the $800 million general obligation bond issue to help fix roads, bridges, buildings, parks, sidewalks, and flood control.

Council members joined the city manager in listening to resident’s opinions on the bond plan.

“There are lots of areas that have never had curbs or sidewalks and it would be great to see some of those monies go towards that,” resident Eslun Tucker said.

If approved by the Kansas City Council, the measure would then go before voters, likely in April of 2017.

“I think there is council support for doing this it’s just a question of what’s the amount and what is it included with it specifically,” City Councilman Scott Taylor said.