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Not everyone supportive of KC city council’s plan to boost east side

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Millions more in city tax money will be devoted to help revive the urban core after the city council approved new incentives to encourage investment east of Troost Avenue.

A recent city investment created a Sunfresh grocery on Prospect Avenue that many hope will prompt more development nearby.

The new ordinance creates a $10 million fund for home improvements and housing repairs in east side neighborhoods.

Councilman Scott Taylor, architect of this plan, says bringing businesses back to areas like Prospect won't solve anything if you don't also work to improve the neighborhoods around them.

The plan calls for an additional $3 million to continue tearing down dangerous and blighted buildings plaguing people who live near them.

But not everyone on the east side is embracing this plan. Councilman Jermaine Reed voted against it, saying there's no teeth to make real improvements.

"To give folks false hopes of things, and say 'We hope there's something there,' and there's nothing there, is not necessarily the best sort of way to actually govern," Reed said. "I want to be sure my friends and my neighbors have real, concrete, measurable things that really make a difference in the lives of all of us in Kansas City. What we have before us in this east side revitalization plan doesn’t do that."

Some areas already have been undergoing changes without incentives.

In Beacon Hill and along Troost, homes are being rehabbed or rebuilt, driving up property values.

The plan also would protect longtime residents from being pushed out of neighborhoods on the upswing by seeking a freeze on their real estate taxes.

The new ordinance provides tax credits for employers who hire workers from the urban core, especially veterans, those on welfare and those who've been released from prison.

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