The Kansas City Council met briefly behind-closed-doors Tuesday to discuss KCI airport but didn’t get an apples-to-apples financial comparison of the four proposals for a new terminal.
The council also did not discuss proposed ballot language that it must adopt by Thursday to meet the deadline for an airport election in November. That ballot language debate is expected to occur in earnest, and in public, at Thursday afternoon’s business and legislative sessions.
Councilman Jermaine Reed, who is on the selection committee evaluating the four airport building proposals, had said prior to Tuesday’s council meeting that financial advisers would give the city council a closed-door financial analysis about the differences between the four proposals.
But that financial analysis isn’t completed, so the apples-to-apples comparison wasn’t provided, according to people at the meeting. Reed said that won’t stop the selection committee from meeting again soon, possibly as early as Wednesday, to continue its deliberations and evaluation of the four proposals.
Reed urged patience as the committee weighs the proposals from teams led by AECOM, Burns & McDonnell, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, and Jones Lang LaSalle. He did not know when the committee might have a recommendation on a winning team to build and finance a new terminal at the airport.
“We want to give ourselves enough opportunity to work through this process,” Reed said. “And do it where it’s fair for all the proposals.”
As for ballot language, the council has struggled to craft simple, concise and clear ballot language to seek voter support for a new single terminal at the airport, replacing the existing horseshoe terminals. Some council members want consideration of public airport revenue bonds, while others say polling shows that’s a loser with voters, who prefer a private financing approach.
The council tried but failed to reach consensus on ballot language last week.
Reed said Tuesday that he had just received suggestions for ballot language revisions from the city’s bond counsel, and he hoped the council can unite around something by Thursday’s deadline.