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KC Council to consider chipping in to $75M zoo aquarium project

Posted at 5:04 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 19:24:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – There might be a new attraction coming soon to the Kansas City Zoo.

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council is expected to read into the record Thursday an ordinance calling for the city to chip in $7 million as part of a $75 million saltwater aquarium at the zoo.

According to an agenda item for this week’s council meeting, the aquarium would be located within the existing footprint of the zoo.

Funding for the project would include using proceeds from an existing one eighth cent Zoological District sales tax and "private and philanthropic resources."

The city’s contribution to the project would come from the public buildings portion of the General Obligation bond package approved by voters.

The ordinance will go before the city’s Finance and Governance Committee for initial review.

Plans have not been finalized, but zoo officials are considering a location near the penguin exhibit 

Kansas City zoo officials also explained that the aquarium at the zoo would not compete with the Sea Life Aquarium at Crown Center. Wisthoff said the zoo aquarium will be much larger and it will have different sea animals.

”There are some cities of similar size that have two or three aquariums and they are all successful,”  Wisthoff added.

If all goes as planned, and the funding is secured, Wisthoff said, the new aquarium at the Kansas City Zoo could open in late 2021 or in early 2022.