Over the weekend I posted a list of questions regarding the announcement last week of a private financing option for a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport. Today I’m asking for help from readers to review and interpret the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is expected to be presented to the City Council this week.
The Kansas City Star is reporting today that the MOU “may be introduced at [Thursday’s] City Council meeting, so we’ll see what details it provides and get more information on how much public input this agreement will have.” However, a link to the MOU was made available last week on the city’s website and you can review it HERE. A letter from City Manager Troy Schulte regarding the MOU is HERE.
Also noted on the city site is the information about “how much public input this agreement will have.”
The City Council’s Airport Committee will invite public comments at two meetings the week of May 22nd.
The public can also comment via the City’s online town hall, KCMOmentum.
Further details are presented in the City’s news release.
A quick glance at the MOU reveals a very tight timeframe for negotiating details and finalizing the agreement. In fact, not only “may” it be introduced this week, the MOU requires that it be:
City and Developer agree and acknowledge that the New MOU will require approval by the City of Kansas City, Missouri City Council (“Council”), and City and Developer agree to negotiate in good faith to finalize the terms of the New MOU, for presentation to the Council, not later than May 18, 2017.
This would seem to indicate one of two scenarios: This collaboration between Burns & McDonnell has been going on much longer than the reported couple of weeks, or the parties want the deal signed before citizens have a chance to review it and competitors have a chance to offer a better deal.
Given that the same people who put the KCI project on ice a year ago are now lighting a fire under this proposal like a home improvement contractor offering a 15% discount “if you sign tonight”, I tend to be suspicious. I am unable to spend much time reviewing this before the Council meeting, thus my ask of you. Please review and if there is something of concern, comment here or comment at the Star, to your Councilperson, to the Council.
This may be the greatest idea in the history of airports. If so, it will stand both scrutiny and the time it takes to responsibly scrutinize.
(Photo above courtesy of The Kansas City Star)