Edgemoor team blindsided by rejection of agreement

Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 19:43:20-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The new KCI terminal is on hold after city council rejected the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Thursday afternoon. On Friday, the Edgemoor team explained how surprised they were by the actions of the council members.

City Council has some decisions to make on moving forward with the new KCI terminal.

The council can either renegotiate with Edgemoor, move on to the next bidder or start the process over from scratch.

Edgemoor managing director Geoff Stricker is hopeful that the deal can be renegotiated. However, he said they were very surprised the MOU presented to the council was turned down.

“Every item that is in the ordinance that was passed back in September when we were awarded the project we have met and exceeded in terms of what we put in the contract,” said Stricker.

Stricker said during the negotiations, Edgemoor has done everything the city has asked for.

“We feel like we met or exceeded everything that the council asked us to do,” he said.

Nine council members voted against the MOU and four voted in favor. After voting down the agreement, a resolution was brought forward to move on to the next bidder, AECOM. 

Mayor Sly James addressed the resolution on Friday in an open letter to the city council:

Regarding the KCI MOU

By way of this memo, I’m officially notifying Council and the Clerk that I am referring resolution 171017 to the Airport Committee. I understand several of you wish to circumvent our standard committee process and consider this legislation in a Committee of the Whole. I completely disagree with that approach and, furthermore, believe that if the MOU had been held in the Airport Committee and given more time to address concerns and modify the agreement, then we might have avoided yesterday’s shocking turn of events, which now puts the project in a precarious position and calls into question Council’s commitment to the will of the voters.

For six-and-a-half years, I’ve worked to move this city forward by using facts and data, relying on thoughtful deliberation when confronted with complex problems and, of course, prioritizing the best interests of this city above personal political agendas. The behavior I have seen over the past week with regard to the MOU is not reflective of the collaborative spirit and results-oriented style I’ve focused on since taking office. We are better than this, and our residents deserve much more.

Yesterday’s action halted a negotiation midstream and tossed it out the window with little warning. That says to Kansas Citians that their will is less important than political agendas. And it sends a message to those who want to do business with Kansas City that we cannot be relied upon as a transparent partner.

Finally, our city will face severe consequences that will extend beyond the new terminal and beyond this political cycle, if we don’t move forward with professionalism and respect. Actions matter to voters. Actions matter to businesses. Actions matter for continued momentum.

Let’s get this back on track next week beginning with the Airport Committee meeting on Thursday.

AECOM released a statement on Friday displaying their preparedness to take on the job if that decision is made:

Design, Construct and Private Financing of KCI

KCI Partnership is 100% ready to partner with Kansas City and the airlines on the development of a world-class airport.

Our commitment to Kansas City has never wavered. You have our promise that we will deliver the following:

  •     A financial proposal that is fair to the City.
  •     A terminal design we can all be proud of.
  •     A commitment to the minority community to make this project transformative.
  •     A collaborative working relationship with Kansas City’s labor community.
  •     A partnership with the airlines to deliver a facility that meets their needs.

Our commitment to make this a true Kansas City project through the use of local businesses.

There is no time for delay. We anxiously await the next steps required by the City Council to advance this project expeditiously.

Stricker of Edgemoor said his team is still talking to the city. The city and Edgemoor met Friday afternoon and have several more meetings scheduled next week.

Stricker said he believes this is just a bump in the road and that Edgemoor will still be building the new KCI terminal.

“Well, you know all these deals go through fits and starts and this is just one of those times and we look forward to sitting down with the council and working through it,” said Stricker.