Kansas City leaders want streetcar opponents to pay for delays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As long as a lawsuit against the streetcar drags on in court, crews can't start building the street car line. City leaders filed an emergency motion today to stop the delays they say could cost millions.

"It will go away," Mayor Sly James said. He believes the courts will again side with the city instead of with two business owners who sued, calling the taxes from the streetcar's transportation development district unconstitutional.

Their lawsuit was dismissed because they filed too late after the election that created the TDD.

"When it does go away, the only question will be, 'How much damage did they do?'" James added.

Not only does the emergency motion ask the court to dismiss the case quickly, but asks that Sue Burke of KC Air Filter and STRETCH of Grinders fund a $20 million bond to cover the cost of delays. Costs, James said, range from last-minute delays in construction to millions that would be lost if the city isn't eligible for a federal grant. The grant's application deadline comes up in June and Kansas City won't be eligible if there are pending legal issues.

James still hopes construction on the streetcar will begin this summer.

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