Bonds Bogged In Crime Lab Conflict
The Kansas City city council postponed approving the sale of up to $85 million in bonds for construction of a new East Patrol complex Thursday.The difficulty was in deciding how much needs to be spent and how much the city can afford.
The cost overruns that cause the concern were mostly in the renovation of the downtown headquarters and land acquisition for the East Partrol project, but the focus has become how much to spend on the crime lab – and how that and possible future overruns could affect other projects like how many new police cars can be bought and whether a new North Patrol station gets built.
Mayor Sly James summarized the conflict: “We simply can't do everything that everybody wants with the budget we've got, and we all know that. But... this has kind of become a little bit of a football that we get to kick around and somebody's wrong and somebody's right, and the reality is... is that everybody's right.”
There is hope that the complete project can be built without cuts and without overspending revenues from the public safety sales tax. In the coming week the police board will bring the council figures on how some of the costs can be paid by grants and through shifting of spending internally.