Last call for KC Council concerns on Edgemoor agreement

Posted at 1:13 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 19:25:06-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Thursday meeting of the full City Council marked members' last call for concerns surrounding an agreement with Edgemoor to build a new KCI terminal. 

Before raising any lingering issues with the memorandum of understanding, members heard from the legal team working on negotiations about changes already made to the agreement.

The most substantive adjustments can be found in the community benefits agreement (CBA), which covers items like free transportation to and from the work site, as well as childcare for workers.

Initially, $10 million to $12 million would be spent on such programs, but Edgemoor has upped that number to $24.2 million.

In its current form, the CBA includes benefits like:

  • Transportation to and from worksite: $3 million
  • Childcare (cost to pay childcare providers to be open extra hours): $2.5 million
  • Onsite medical care: $400,000
  • Pre-apprenticeship program: $5.5 million

The updated agreement also clarified an up to $30 million fee the city would have to pay if it breaks away from Edgemoor. In the new draft of the MOU, the city would pay out-of-pocket costs approved by the Aviation Department. 

Many members applauded negotiation efforts, but they also raised concerns. Those issues were compiled into a list for the negotiation team in the hopes no surprises will pop up later in the process.

Council members Scott Wagner and Teresa Loar expressed the desire to include business development for veterans alongside help for minority and women-owned businesses, as well as small/local businesses.

Councilman Lee Barnes reiterated his previous stance that the minority/women-owned business involvement numbers aren't high enough. Other members took issue with a clause that would allow the city to lower its MWBE goal down the road.

"I think Edgemoor has represented that they would do a 35 percent combined MWBE goal. We should really just delete all the other clauses in connection to that," Councilman Quinton Lucas said. 

Lucas also pushed to lower the $30 million ceiling for reimbursement to Edgemoor, adding the city should not be on the hook for any costs from before the election.

Negotiators will take members' concerns to the table in the hopes an agreement can be reached by the end of the month.

Attorney Charles Renner told the council the terminal will not be delivered on time if an MOU isn't in place by the end of February.