Kansas City Council backs $7 million contribution toward zoo aquarium

The Kansas City Council on Thursday threw its support behind a $7 million city contribution toward building a “world-class aquarium” at the zoo.

The council voted 10-0 to direct City Manager Troy Schulte to look for the money, from public and/or private sources, and to report back within 60 days.

The resolution had been proposed by council members Alissia Canady and Kevin McManus. It initially identified general obligation bonds as the source of the funds, but that stipulation was removed.

The Friends of the Zoo, which manages the city-owned animal park, is proposing to build a $75 million saltwater aquarium. Officials say they have identified $22 million in private funds and would use $40 million from an existing zoo-district sales tax in Jackson and Clay counties.

Proponents say an aquarium would be an economic generator as well as an educational asset and year-round attraction at the zoo.

Related stories from Kansas City Star