41 Action News exclusively obtained letters from more than a dozen local businesses and agencies asking Kansas City Mayor Sly James and the city council to get a proposal for a new single-terminal at Kansas City International Airport on the November ballot.
Clark Hunt, Chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs, wrote, "We believe that an improved KCI will make an important statement about the Kansas City brand."
Terry Bassham, President and CEO of KCP&L, said, "Kansas City Power & Light strongly supports a new single terminal at KCI. It is important to economic development in our region."
Mary McNamara, Regional Director of Women Construction Owners & Executives USA, shared, "As leaders interested in expanding opportunities for women owned business, we wholeheartedly endorse your efforts."
"We're getting an increasing number of folks from the business and civic community saying this is absolutely crucial for the future of our city. When we talk about business development, when we talk about making sure Kansas City is staged to be a world-class city moving forward, we have to make sure that we have this centerpiece," Jolie Justus, chairman of the airport committee, said.
Proposals from four companies are being considered:
- AECOM KCI Partnership
- Burns & McDonnell
Tuesday, KCI Partnership expressed frustration with follow up questions submitted by the city. Karl Reichelt, KCI Partnership Project Executive, sent us a statement which reads in part:
"Early today, the City requested bidders provide new financial information additive to the RFP/Q - not clarification questions of our bid which is traditional and acceptable - which by our assessment, amounts to a re-bid of the financial proposal submitted August 10. Our view is the City and its paid advisors should be able to fairly and professionally evaluate each proposal as submitted per the RFP/Q August 10 . While we will comply to the City’s request, we question this development and worry the goal posts are being moved to achieve a pre-determined outcome."
Justus emphasized, "It's unfortunate because we're not moving the goal post. This is a procurement process and it is very typical for additional questions to be asked."
Burns & McDonnell called the process "fair" and told 41 Action News they too received additional questions from the committee.
Jermaine Reed, chairman of the airport committee, sent a statement that reads in part:
All four proposal teams have been asked to answer, in writing, several questions. The financial questions are aimed at getting an apples-to-apples comparison. For example, the four teams used different interest rates, and we have asked them to submit numbers based on the same interest rate. Proposers are expected to answer these follow-up questions by noon Thursday (8/17). Please keep in mind that asking follow-up questions is a normal and expected part of the procurement process.
"The people of Kansas City should be excited that we're asking additional questions because this is about the future of our city and it's about a billion dollar project and we want to make sure we get it right. No decision is made yet. As a matter of fact, this is going to be one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make because we got some great proposals," Justus said. "If we lose this opportunity, it is a generational mistake.
The airport selection committee resumes deliberations on Friday.