Burns & McDonnell executives argue the KCI selection process should be restarted from beginning

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Burns & McDonnell and its financial partner, Americo, asked on Monday for full reinstatement of all four proposers in the KCI Airport Selection Process, prior to any vote by the full City Council, or, as a second option, restarting the proposal selection process from the beginning.

“We believe we are the best team; the airlines believe we are the best team; and the community believes we are the best team to design, build and privately-finance a new KCI,” says Ron Coker, senior vice president, Burns & McDonnell. “The fact that we did not advance as a response to erroneous information and the threat of a frivolous lawsuit from an out of town competitor is terribly disappointing.”

Burns & McDonnell, Americo and more than 30 partners were disqualified from consideration by the full City Council due to alleged non-compliance with the City’s Master Bond Ordinance (MBO).

Coker says Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James shared publicly last week that the City’s outside attorneys warned that selecting Burns & McDonnell and Americo could lead to litigation and negatively impact the entire process.

“The City and the Selection Committee should provide scoring details on the merits of each proposal. If the City was threatened by a lawsuit for selecting the HOMETOWN Team, we should know who made that threat. This is a once in a lifetime project for Kansas Citians. No one should be bullied into picking an out of town firm by those who don’t live in Kansas City.”

The KCI Hometown Team retained the services of Gilmore & Bell, a law firm specializing in public finance. Gilmore & Bell issued statement, saying it worked closely with Burns and McDonnell to craft the financing proposal.

“We are very familiar with the City’s master bond ordinance and we have worked closely with the KCI HOMETOWN Team to craft a private financing proposal that complied with the master bond ordinance,” says Gary Anderson, director, Gilmore & Bell. “The KCI HOMETOWN Team proposal is valid and legal under the master bond ordinance and can be implemented in a way that does not negatively impact existing or future city airport financings. I welcome the opportunity, thus far denied to us, to meet with the City’s legal advisers and aviation department to walk them through our firm’s reasoning,”  says Gary Anderson, director, Gilmore & Bell.

To further confirm the legal opinion of Gilmore & Bell, the team asked a second nationally recognized bond attorney, Mike Lause of St. Louis-based Thompson Coburn, to review the KCI HOMETOWN Team’s proposed financing structure.

“We have reviewed the KCI HOMETOWN Team’s financing proposal, the City’s master bond ordinance and other relevant matters,” said Mike Lause, an attorney Burns & McDonnell asked to review the proposed financing structure. “We are in agreement with Gilmore & Bell’s analysis that the KCI HOMETOWN Team’s proposal can be finalized and implemented in compliance with the master bond ordinance and without negatively impacting existing or future airport financings.”

The city council Airport Selection Committee chose Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate of Maryland to build the airport.

The full city council now has to approve Edgemoor. Then it goes before a public vote in November. If approved, construction could start by summer 2018, with completion around November 2021.