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Lee’s Summit may go to voters for U.S. 50/M-291 interchange

Updated: 2013-11-14T00:46:33Z

By RUSS PULLEY

Special to The Star

Lee’s Summit is poised to try for another no-tax-increase bond issue, in April 2014, this time for $10 million to rebuild the U.S. 50 and Missouri 291 South interchange.

The City Council this month directed the staff to prepare an ordinance calling for the election. Placing the issue on the ballot will require a future council vote.

The Missouri Department of Transportation plans to rebuild the Jefferson Street bridge overpass, but the city wants an upgrade for that interchange. State officials contend they don’t have money for that.

Business leaders say traffic congestion in that area is a drag on redeveloping the former sites of Pfizer, Calmar and Adesa auto auction, so the city and state have worked out a proposed partnership.

The city would pay for the estimated $10 million project, and apply for $5 million in state matching funds, a 50-50 split on costs.

Council member Ed Cockrell said a bond election enhances the odds of a successful application.

“Cities that can show front money, get money,” Cockrell said.

He said the city should commit to voters that if the city raises $10 million and is reimbursed $5 million, then the city would use its remaining $5 million for more matching money on other transportation projects.

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