© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

For Eligible Voters, Time To Apply For A Streetcar Extension Ballot Is Almost Out

Laura Ziegler
KCUR 89.3
The fate of a southern streetcar extension is in the hands of about 30,000 registered voters in Kansas City, Missouri, but eligible voters must apply for a ballot to vote.

Time is running out for about 30,000 Kansas City, Missouri, voters who are eligible to vote on a southern streetcar extension.

Registered voters who live within the area roughly between the Missouri River and 53rd Street, and State Line Road and Campbell, have until April 3 to apply for a mail-in ballot.

Ballots will be sent to approved voters in May and due back on June 12.

This is the final step in a complicated three-election process that must be completed before any work on an expansion to the University of Missouri-Kansas City can begin.

The first step was a mail-in election last summer. More than 70 percent of voters approvedthe boundaries of a Transportation Development District, or TDD, a special taxing district that would serve as a major funding mechanism for the streetcar. 

In October, voters in the district elected a board of directors for the TDD. 

The final election asks voters to approve a special property assessment and a 1 percent sales tax within the district to fund the extension.

David Johnson, who is on the board of the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance, says as of last week, fewer than 2,000 people had applied for a ballot. He's urging people not to wait until Tuesday to submit an application.

"As we've seen with this ballot application process, people wait until the last minute, and that of course, taxes the circuit court," Johnson says. 

Just over 10 percent of eligible voters received ballots for the last mail-in election. Applications for ballots as well as a map of the proposed taxing district areavailable here

Efforts to extend the streetcar were complicated last year when Kansas City voters narrowly approved a ballot question in August that prohibited the city from taking part in any streetcar extension without a citywide vote. But the City Council amended that ordinance in January, saying that it was not legally sound as it was passed. 

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig

Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.