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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City voters will weigh in on two bond measures this fall that would allocate money to affordable housing and upgrades at pools, parks and the convention center.

The Kansas City Council approved adding the two questions to the Nov. 8 ballot.

Neither of the bond measures would increase taxes or increase city debt, according to the city, because the new bonds would coincide with existing bond debt rolling off.

The first bond question will ask voters whether the city should issue up to $125 million in general obligation (GO) bonds for parks, recreation and entertainment facility upgrades. The measure would send nearly $80 million in bonds over five years. The city would use those funds for the following:

  • Make upgrades at community centers,
  • Reopen shuttered public pools,
  • Fix historic fountains,
  • Make upgrades to several public parks

“We will keep engaging with folks in all areas of Kansas City to ensure public facilities are open, safe and accessible for all of our children and families — in all Kansas City neighborhoods,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a news release.

The other $45 million in GO bonds would be used to address deferred maintenance needs at the Kansas City Convention Center, the city said.

“Since 2016, Kansas City has missed out on an estimated $62 million in economic impact directly tied to the current condition of the Kansas City Convention Center,” the city said in the release.” Without additional investment, Kansas City is at risk of losing additional market share to peer destinations, which would further erode the economic impact of this community asset.”

The full ballot measure for Question No. 1 reads as follows:

“Shall the City of Kansas City, Missouri issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $125,000,000.00 for the purpose of paying for the acquisition, construction, renovation, improvement, equipping, and furnishing of City parks, recreation, and entertainment facilities?”

Affordable housing

The second bond measure would ask voters if Kansas City should issue up to $50 million in GO bonds toward the Housing Trust Fund, creating affordable housing in neighborhoods in need.

The Housing Trust Fund has funded nearly 500 new units of affordable housing, including over 120 units for transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness, according to the city.

This $50 million would be Kansas City’s largest investment in affordable housing ever made “to ensure folks of all income levels can call Kansas City home,” Lucas said.

The full ballot measure for Question No. 2 reads as follows:

“Shall the City of Kansas City, Missouri issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $50,000,000.00 for the purpose of affordable housing through the rehabilitation, renovation, and construction of houses and buildings, including blight removal, to provide affordable housing for very low- to moderate-income households?”

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