KC Streetcar expansion explained

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ballots were due Tuesday to approve a tax development district to pay for the KC Streetcar expansion.

"If the vote is successful, that gives us a local revenue stream to really take the next step and to pursue federal funding. We then have to move to utility relocation, design, construction and testing and operation so it's still about a 5-year effort. We're looking at about 2023 before the project is completed," KC Streetcar Authority Executive Director Tom Gerend said.

Kansas City plans to request $100 million from the federal government in September. That money would be combined with an estimated $25 million a year generated from the TDD to cover the project. Early estimates for construction costs are from $250 to $275 million.

Gerend believes the return on investment for the existing streetcar route — around $2 billion so far — makes the case for the expansion.

"What we've seen downtown, we're optimistic we can extend the benefits through Midtown and down to the University of Missouri-Kansas City and really reconnect our city in a new and exciting way," he said.

Adam Loomis, the owner of Midtown Tattoo, told 41 Action News, "Bringing the culture from down there up to here, new scenery. I think it's going to bring up the whole neighborhood."

The Kansas City Election Board certifies the results on June 20 at noon.

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