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Voters Hand KCMO Council Election Day Victory

Alex Smith

Voters on Tuesday approved all of the ballot measures supported by many Kansas City, Mo., city council members.

Top among the issues was approval to issue $500 million in water bonds.

Supporters of the ballot measure say the funding is sorely needed for the city to repair its deteriorating water infrastructure. In 2013 alone, the water department dealt with about 1200 water main breaks.

“The citizens of Kansas City fully and completely understand the need for us to continue to work on our infrastructure,” said Mayor Sly James shortly before 9 p.m.

The city will repay the bond money over the next 10 years with already-planned water rate increases. Rates will increase 10 percent next year, and 2 to 3 percent after that.

The water bond measure was approved by about 3 to 1.

Voters also approved a measure that allows Kansas City to charge hotels and motels an annual permit fee.

Fee will range from $150 to $350 for up to 1000 rooms.

The funds will be used to inspect and clean unsanitary lodging that are unsafe.

Additional measures approved by voters include an election date change and two small charter changes.

Mayor James celebrated election results with several city council members at Danny’s Big Easy at 18th and Vine.

As the final results came in, the mayor sang the Temptations' "My Girl" with a rhythm and blues cover band performing at the restaurant.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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