TKC MUST READ!!! KANSAS CITY TAX FIGHTERS BREAK DOWN COSTS OF PROPOSED $27 MILLION FOR 18TH & VINE!!!
Right now we eant to feature an INFORMATIVE note just sent our way offering a critical perspective on a great deal of cash still under consideration for an embattled entertainment district that has been the home to gun fights and a great many lackluster renewal efforts.
Here's the overview for those who don't want to read the fine print . . .
CITY HALL CASH FOR 18TH AND VINE IS NOTHING MORE THAN A BLANK CHECK WITH VERY LITTLE DETAIL AND ABSOLUTELY NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EXPENDITURES!!!
Even better . . .
In this breakdown after the jump, local tax fighters contend:
"All the projects lack information a soundly based expenditure would disclose. Such as, who is going to get this money? What are they going to do with it? Is the recipient putting any “skin in the game”? How many jobs will the project create? Are they willing to repay the money if they don’t reach the number of jobs promised or develop the property as promised?"
You decide . . . And click read more to check the COMPREHENSIVE Kansas City cost breakdown . . .
18th and Vine Followup ... Same story second verse!
Last week several of us took the time to let out city council members and the mayor know our thoughts about the $27,600,000 being considered for 18th and Vine. We wanted to know: Who was going to get this money and what were they going to do with it?
The vote was being rushed through without proper debate and this there were many unanswered questions. Because of your effort, the vote was delayed until this week but there is still not an adequate plan, in our opinion. Many, many more questions still linger. Have and bids been requested for the work??
All the projects lack information a soundly based expenditure would disclose. Such as, who is going to get this money? What are they going to do with it? Is the recipient putting any “skin in the game”? How many jobs will the project create? Are they willing to repay the money if they don’t reach the number of jobs promised or develop the property as promised?
We recommend the city council does not give this money to 18th and Vine until the uses are better defined and communicated to the public.
What we hear is:
- $4.2 Million for the Buck O’Neil Education Center… To do what? and Who’s going to do it? If it’s
construction related, was the job bid? Who owns this building and business??
This is an Ollie Gates/ Cleaver Project..... The City has already put I believe over a million into this vacant building. (there is no money for operational expenses....will be coming ba to the City for on-going operational costs every year.)
- $1.7 Million for the American Jazz Museum… To do what? and Who’s going to do it? If it’s construction related, was the job bid? Who owns this building / business??
This is a Mayor appointed board......project started by Cleaver, and likely staffed. City has already put millions into to this project and funds the annual operational costs of the place, lights, security, etc.
- $1.8 Million for the Friends of Alvin Ailey Headquarters…What is this money for? Are we building them a building? Remodel?? Raises?? Who owns this business?? City has already put at least a million into this. Again this was started under Cleaver to establish a Kansas City presence of this New York based dance company. City funds go towards operational costs every year (not sure which budget--maybe parks and rec).
- $5.6 Million for the new 18th Street Apartments… Who is going to own these?? If it is a developer, how much is the developer putting into the project??
The city funded the building of these with its federal funds and hand picked developer. Millions already sunk into these....this is probably an expansion of apartments again with City funds. There will certainly be a "friend of Cleaver developer"...hand picked/ no bidding, with many shell companies for pre-development.
- $4.9 Million to stabilize and Improve historic Vine street buildings... Who owns these buildings?? if it’s not the city then why is the city paying for the maintenance?? If not the city, are the owners putting any money into this project?? Which buildings??
I have heard that the City plans to re-buy the 18th and Vine Building. This will be the second time the City has bought it. The first time, Charles Hazley was on the Council and there is a plaque in the rear entry of the building commemorating its purchase and renovation by the city. Then it sold the building to the Black Economic union for nominal costs.....and turned around and paid rent to the Black economic Union for over 25 years for space to house City programs. BEU allowed the building to become run down....and now want to profit by selling it back to the City ti renovate.
- $1.2 Million to restore the Boone Theater… Restore?? What does that mean?? New seats, new screen?? Restore what?? Who owns the building and the business?? If it is the city, what are they going to do with it once restored?? To spend over a million dollars with no set outcome or projection is ludicrous. It is my understanding that the City has promised to renovate the Boone Theater if the American Folk Music society moved its headquarters to KC. This will fulfill that informal promise, I guess. The City bought the building quietly about four or five years ago.
- $1.0 Million for a plaza and fountain at 18th and Paseo?? Really, the city is falling apart, murder rates through the roof, police being laid off, curbs crumbling, potholes all over the place, water lines busting all over town and we’re going to build a plaza and fountain??
- $3.0 million dollars to beautify 18th street and create a better connection west to the Crossroads Art District. Who gets this money?? They need to be identified. Why not pick up the trash and run some shuttles between the two areas. That wouldn’t cost $3 million dollars. We could reconfigure the shuttles and busses to look more like the streetcar on the inside. Maybe more people would ride them. Try that for a few months before we give somebody $3 million dollars.
These projects total up to $23.4 million dollars. There asking for $27.6 million dollars so there is a $3.2 million dollar gap??? Maybe they are all worthwhile but the people promoting this effort have not convinced the voters.
Once again we ask you let the mayor and council persons know your thoughts. Call and email today!!! And thanks again for your support…
Citizens for Responsible Government