Divided Kansas City Council Postpones Jazz District Funding Vote

Jul 7, 2016

Kansas City councilmembers delayed a vote on a proposal for the Jazz District.
Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

With three last-minute alternatives on the table and no apparent consensus, Kansas City Councilman Jermaine Reed backed down Thursday on his plan to force a vote on Jazz District improvements.

Reed had already softened his original stance that the council should fully commit to $27.6 million in three-phase funding for the 18th and Vine area.

His scaled-down proposal reduced the initial commitment to $12 million. It also would have created a Community Improvement District sales tax and relied on the district allowance from the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority to help shoulder the burden of paying for future additions.

But other proposals were submitted, the most cautious calling for a commitment of only $2 million now with additions in the future after seeking commitments from private funding sources.

Reed agreed to Mayor Sly James's request for time for discussion and compromise.

“I would ask us all to consider whether or not if this project is as important as we say, are we better off spending more time and getting it right or not?” asked James during the business session.

The mayor later said he envisioned the council revisiting the issue at its work session on Tuesday and resolving their differences.

The plan in its revised form would then presumably come up for a full council vote on Thursday, July 14.

Steve Bell is afternoon newscaster and business news reporter for KCUR.  He may be reached at 816-235-5173 or by e-mail as steveb@kcur.org