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KCI Committee Reviews Proposals For A New Terminal

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

A decision on which company might build a new, single terminal at Kansas City International Airport, potentially a billion dollar project, is getting closer.

Kansas City councilmembers plan to pick one of four firms and must have ballot language approved by Aug. 24 if the issue is to make it on the November general election ballot.

The city could take a huge step towards that decision as early as Tuesday when the selection committee could either name a winner or narrow the field.

“I think the citizens of Kansas City will be proud of the selection that this committee will make,” says councilman Jermaine Reed, a member of the selection committee.

Most agree that a process that was once closed and tilted heavily towards engineering giant Burns & McDonnell is now competitive. “There’s no doubt. We’re relying on the panel and the city to do the right thing. To have an objective, fair, open process and we’re completely confident that they will,” says Karl Reichelt, the project director for KCI Partnership, which is backed by AECOM.

KCI Partnership plus JLL Midwest, Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and Burns & McDonnell all made lengthy, multi-media presentations to the committee Monday at the city's Aviation Department headquarters at KCI.

“I think that’s been a healthy part of the process and I think in the long run it will be health toward getting us the kind of terminal that Kansas City airport users deserve and, I think, want,” says Jim Heeter from JLL and who served on the city council in the mid-1980s.

Reed agrees and says the competitive bidding process will lead to a better terminal. "I think that our citizens should certainly understand and be aware that this process is transparent and that they will be confident in what we  are able to provide them with in the next couple of days,” he says.

Sam Zeff covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service and is co-host of the political podcast Statehouse Blend Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @SamZeff.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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