Lee's Summit council split on funding for proposed grocery store

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Lee's Summit City Council members are split on plans to develop an empty lot because of disagreements over the project's funding.

The proposed plan includes building a Price Chopper grocery store near the intersection of Blue Parkway and Todd George Road. Council members voted on the project for the first time last week, but the votes were split 4-4.

Mayor Randy Rhoads cast a deciding vote to move the grocery store project forward.

Taxpayer money would fund a portion of the $20 million project. The developer asked the city for approximately $5 million in tax incentives.

Rhoads said he is comfortable with that because not a lot of developers are interested in the area, and the project calls for some neighborhood improvements as well.  

Council members agree the area needs to be developed, but they don't want to offer so much taxpayer money.

"They do offer public improvements, but it's not worth the $5 million in taxpayer money as far as I'm concerned," Councilman Bob Johnson said.

The money for a portion of the proposed plan would come from a half-cent tax imposed on those who shop at the grocery store. City council members will take a final vote on the plans later this month.

Rhoads told 41 Action News he expects another split vote.

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