Government
9:01 am
Fri January 20, 2012

City Council Moves Streetcar Plan Forward

Kansas City, Missouri has taken another step toward a formal bid for federal help to establish a downtown streetcar line.

The city council approved a pair of resolutions that would let voters in a proposed Transportation Development District weigh in on whether to make the district a quasi-governmental entity and whether to increase sales and property taxes in it to pay for the streetcar plan.

Councilman Russ Johnson said it's time for the city to show that it has a plan that would qualify it for a federal TIGER grant.

“You had to make a decision on whether we were going to pursue the TIGER funds this year or we were going to 'punt' and hope to get the ball back later,” said Johnson.

Attorney Doug Stone described the proposed district as “shaped roughly like Gumby.” Gumby's head is the River Market and his legs extend to Union Station and Crown Center areas.

The $100 million streetcar transit project would depend on a $25 million federal grant plus about $75 million in local funding – and a subsidy from its area of about $10 million a year.