Surging sales taxes fund new Northland roads, could pave way for new sporting complex

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Construction crews are starting to build new roads in the Northland to handle the surging number of families moving into more homes nearby.

Sales taxes are helping pay for new and expanded routes along Platte Purchase Drive.

Currently $2.5 million is being spent to create Line Creek Parkway, a new east-west connector in an area that's expected to see a lot more traffic in the next few years.

Sales taxes from a Costco store nearby are funding the roadway projects as part of the Platte Purchase Redevelopment Plan.

This is the area where developers are seeking to create a Northland sporting complex with 12 tournament caliber soccer fields.

But before that can happen, there are plans to spend about $17 million to upgrade the transportation network.

"Right now if somebody wants to have kids play soccer they have to go way out in Johnson County, out to 135th Street near Olathe," Councilman Dan Fowler said. "That’s an untenable situation. We’ve heard stories of third graders out there playing soccer at 9 o'clock at night. It’s not good for them, it’s not good for us."

The new roads, which include upgrades to Platte Purchase Drive and North Tiffany Springs Road, also will allow the Platte County R-3 School District to build a new middle school in the area. The Northland has some of the fastest growing school districts in Missouri.

There are even plans for a second high school, because right now families have to send their children all the way to Platte City, Mo., for high school.

Tax increment financing takes half of the sales taxes from places like Costco and Menards to pay only for infrastructure improvements in the Northland.  The money is not used to subsidize the development generating the taxes.

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