Just a month after city fathers and mothers popped the corks on their shotgun marriage to Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, they are waking up to the fact that Edgemoor is not quite the catch they thought it was.
On Thursday, a super majority of the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council rejected the memorandum of understanding with the Maryland-based design firm.
“There’s a reimbursement agreement that obligates the city to potentially millions of dollars, a number of those costs incurred before the election,” said Quinton Lucas, a 3rd District at-large councilman.
“There was absolutely no detail on financing. I know we want flexibility, but we also want to know what we are binding the city to, potentially for years to come.”
Among the objectionable provisions of the memorandum is that Kansas City could be on the hook to Edgemoor to the tune of $30 million if the deal never closes. By a 9-4 vote, the council rejected the memorandum.
Among the four were the two with the greatest stake in pushing this plan through: Mayor Sly James and Councilwoman Jolie Justus, the Kansas City Star’s designated mayor in waiting and the instigator-in-chief of the new terminal project.
Even before the meeting, Citizens for Responsible Government proposed a betting pool on KCI’s future. Wager points include:
How soon will the first change order come in?
Which contractor will file the first lawsuit?
How long before the City throws Edgemoor under the bus and brings in AECOM?
How long before the City throws AECOM under the bus and brings in Burns & McDonnell?
How much in taxpayer dollars will the FAA be asked to put in?
Will the Wheeler Downtown airport be able to afford the loss on $10,000,000 annual subsidy from KCI once the new debt kicks in?
Who will get the lucrative contract to oversee the process?
AECOM was the runner-up in the City Council’s choose a contractor contest. The local firm, Burns & McDonnell, was responsible for keeping the plan alive. Mayor James accused the council of subverting the Edgemoor deal to throw this major bone back to AECOM.
The council came with in a hair of killing the Edgemoor deal altogether, but Councilman Lee Barnes pulled his resolution to do just that.
Reports the Star: “The scene at City Hall was a stark contrast to the hugs and high-fives Nov. 7 after a huge majority of voters–75 percent–approved the replacement of KCI’s three-terminal layout with a gleaming new single terminal building.”
The wedding was a quickie. The divorce won’t be.