Ballot Breakdown: KCI terminal question approved for November election

Ballot Breakdown: KCI terminal question
Posted at 5:03 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 19:39:02-04

KANSAS CITY – If you live in Kansas City, you'll be asked to decide this November whether or not KCI should build a new terminal.

The Kansas City City Council unanimously approved language for the ballot question Thursday.

"What you saw is a unanimous and united vote to put this in front of the people of Kansas City," Communications Director Chris Hernandez said.

After talking to the city, 41 Action News put the question in front of passengers at KCI.

"I think I'd vote yes for that," Donna Phister, a frequent flier, said. 

Another flier, Cary Morris, said just the opposite.

"We love it like it is," Morris said.

The answers were as simple as the question itself, but the city wants to make sure everyone understands that a new terminal will be paid for with revenue from the airport, not with your tax dollars. 

"It's clarifying, making sure everyone understands that the only people who will pay for the improvements at KCI are the people who use KCI," Hernandez said.

The airport finance director expects new retail and restaurant locations in the single-terminal design will bring in more revenue. The layout will make more room for vendors and allow passengers to roam throughout the shops.

Currently, concession and parking prices are set to increase, but KCI attributed the rise to inflation, not the new terminal.

Additional funding will come from the airlines, which have agreed to higher lease payments. It's all in an effort to make sure less comes out of passengers' pockets, and no money comes from the taxpayers of Kansas City.

"If we can get somebody else to pay for it besides us, that's great,"  Joann Weger, a passenger at KCI, said.

There is a second clause in the ballot question that says voter approval would be needed if airport revenue bonds are going to be used to finance any part of the terminal.

Specific financing plans won't be released until after the airport proposal selection committee chooses a bidder on August 31.