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KC council approves agreement with Edgemoor for new KCI

Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 23:58:42-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Council members in Kansas City voted 8-5 in favor of an agreement with Edgemoor to build a new single-terminal KCI.

This comes after the council voted down the first version memorandum of understanding with Edgemoor back in December.

After that vote, members compiled a list of 45 issues they wanted to see addressed. On Thursday, many members said they felt those problems had been resolved.

In remarks ahead of the vote, Airport Committee Chairman and Councilwoman Jolie Justus emphasized the agreement represents the best deal for Kansas City. Councilman Jermaine Reed, who was also a member of the selection committee, echoed that sentiment. 

"This is a momentous step to deliver to citizens of Kansas City the airport they have been clamoring for and deserve," Councilman Jermaine Reed said ahead of the vote.

But Council members Teresa Loar, Heather Hall, Scott Wagner, Scott Taylor and Lee Barnes all rejected the updated MOU.

TIMELINE | How we got to the KCI vote


Wagner cited concerns with an over-budget and overdue project at SeaTac Airport, on which KCI-Edgemoor team members SOM and Clark Construction are working. He also expressed concern over the fact that a labor harmony agreement has not yet been reached with unions.

"The negotiating team said this was the best deal we could get. I disagree," Wagner said.

Councilwoman Katheryn Shields pushed back on Wagner's assessment, pointing out all of the bidders had their flaws.

"Edgemoor will build us a world-class airport. Will there be hiccups? Absolutely, but that's how big projects work," she said. 

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Teresa Loar voiced frustration with the atmosphere surrounding the MOU negotiation, describing it as "rancorous and hateful." 

Councilman Lee Barnes maintained his previous position, opposing Edgemoor for what he called an unwillingness to help the people in Kansas City who need it most. Barnes has been critical about the developer's commitment to community benefits and minority and women-owned businesses since they were selected. 

The KCI-Edgemoor team told 41 Action News they're excited to move forward to the next steps in the process, including finalizing the terminal design and sitting down with unions to iron out a labor harmony agreement. 

Attorney Charles Renner, who has worked on the MOU negotiations, previously said the terminal could still be delivered on time if an agreement was reached before the end of February.