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Officials Pass A Sweeping Measure To Revive Kansas City's Most Distressed Neighborhoods

Laura Ziegler
KCUR 89.3
The Kansas City Council on Thursday passed the 'Revive the East Side' measure, which would, in part help restore dangerous, vacant buildings in Kansas City's poorest neighborhoods.

The Kansas City Council approved a sweeping proposal Thursday to revitalize some of the poorest parts of eastern Kansas City, Missouri.

The “Revive the East Side” initiative, sponsored by 6th District councilman and 2019 mayoral candidate Scott Taylor, would, among other things, establish a $10 million home improvement fund, create tax credits to encourage hiring workers who live in high unemployment areas, improve trash collection and “protect long-time residents against gentrification.”

It’s a lot to promise, noted 3rd District councilman Jermaine Reed, who voted against the measure. He called it overly ambitious and believes it would give residents of needy neighborhoods with false hope.

“The people in the 3rd and 5th District, right in the urban core, we can’t continue to hope and wait and wish that something would happen,” Reed said.

Reed also said he was waiting to hear how the program would be funded; those details haven’t been settled.

The wide-ranging ordinance has been though several rounds of neighborhood meetings and public hearings, where it got mixed reviews.

The measure passed 9-3, with Mayor Sly James and Councilmembers Taylor, Teresa Loar, Quinton Lucas, Katheryn Shields, Jolie Justus, Alissia Canady, Lee Barnes, and Kevin McManus voting in support. Reed, Heather Hall and Dan Fowler opposed it.

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

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