Voters to decide whether city should do business with future nuclear plant
10:44 PM, Jan 16, 2013
10:49 PM, Jan 16, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - When Kansas City voters go to the polls in April, one of the questions will involve whether to allow the city to do business with a company that is connected to nuclear weapons.
A small group of volunteers petitioned the city council several times to get the question on the April 3 ballot. They're asking voters to prohibit the city from entering into any future contracts with facilities that produce, assemble or refurbish components for nuclear weapons.
It took Dr. Rachel MacNair and her group, the KC Peace Planters, three petitions and more than 15,000 signatures to get on the ballot.
"We never wanted to close it down, we've always been interested in converting it to a different product," MacNair said.
The new nuclear weapons parts plant was built off of Highway 150 on Botts Road near Grandview. It's not producing the components yet. The company, which is replacing the Bannister Federal Complex, is still moving in from that facility.
City Councilman John Sharp is one of the KC Peace Planters' most vocal opponents.
"If this passes, we wouldn't be able to provide any kind of incentive to any of the suppliers that supply some of the parts or products they use at this facility," Sharp explained.
Both sides agree they want to keep the 2,500 jobs, but MacNair's group just doesn't want the financial incentive to be available for future deals.
The plant is owned by Planned Industrial Expansion Authority. 41 Action News reached out to the company, but our phone calls were not returned.
MacNair's group plans to attend Thursday's city council meeting, hoping to hear how high on the ballot their question will be on April 3.