The controversy over what contractors will supervise the construction of Kansas City's downtown streetcar line isn't over yet, but the city council has moved one step closer to choosing two out-of-town companies.
Plans to sign a construction management contract with two out-of-town firms have been on hold for several weeks after local contractors and building trades unions expressed concern that there wouldn't be enough Kansas City companies and workers on the job.
Al Landes, president of one of those firms, Herzog Contractors of St. Joseph, Mo. told the council committee his company and their California associates will bring transit expertise in managing the project, but is committed to maximizing opportunities for local contractors and the local contracting community. "After all, folks," he said, "you're paying for it. Why shouldn't it come back to this community?"
Landes added that the consortium he represents has done streetcar projects in a number of cities and that local contractors union workers was always involved. He also vowed to meet goals for participation by women-and-minority-owned businesses.
The Transportation and Infrastructure committee approved the contract on a 3-1 vote. The full council vote is Thursday.