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Questions Questions everywhere

How difficult is it to get straight answers? Attorney Sherry DeJanes asks the hard questions.
Jan Marcason’s replies are in red.

1

On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Jan Marcason wrote:

I’ll get back to you next week.

Jan Marcason
City Council, 4th District
Sent from my iPad

On Feb 15, 2014, at 10:19 AM, “Sherry DeJanes” wrote:

Councilwoman Marcason:

Thank you for your prompt response to my question about remarks you made at the Broadway Westport Council
meeting on Thursday. I am hopeful you will be able to respond to the questions I have set forth below as quickly as
you did my previous question.

I note that $360,000 of the in-district expenditures for year 30 went to “Streetcar Corridor Planning Phase 2”.
Could you please tell me what other “Street or Roadway Improvements” were under consideration for that year but
did not make the list of expenditures that would be made from the funds available? I would also like to know if that
$360,000 and the $270,000 contributed by the third district for that same purpose are included in the costs that are
being reported by the City as the total costs associated with the Phase 2 Planning for the Streetcar Corridor; are
they?

In FYE 2014, the Fourth District approved PIAC requests totaling $1,008,000 in street or roadway improvements
(including $350,000 for the streetcar planning). In FYE2015, we are proposing $1,095,000 for street and roadway
improvements, including $360,000 for streetcar planning.

In your earlier email to me, you identified the group that asked the Council to consider an extension of the
streetcar line South of 51st Street as the Country Club Right of Way Committee. I have been able to locate only a
single article that refers to that organization as it pertains to their activity in Waldo but I cannot locate anything that
identifies its members. Could you please tell me who were members of that committee at the time it requested the
Council to consider extension of the streetcar line South of 51st Street?

.

The Country Club Right of Way advisory commi8ee (CCROW) is convened by the Area Transit Authority. We
meet quarterly to discuss issues associated with the right of way. At the October 1, 2013 meeng the commi8ee
approved the consultants going ahead to study the expansion of the streetcar along the Trolley Track Trail (but
protecng the trail for pedestrians and bicyclists). The Mayor has appointed a commi8ee to discuss the
extension of the streetcar along the trolley track trail, but this is different from the CCROW commi8ee of the
ATA.

In the meeting we held on February 5, Mayor James said that there were 3 or 4 proposals for the streetcar line
South of 51st Street, that did not involve running the tracks down the Trolley Trail.
a. What are those proposals?
b. Where can we find them, either in writing or as a drawing?
c. When were those alternate proposals made
i. By whom?
ii. Why?

There have been some conceptual drawings of possible streetcar routes along the Trolley Trail and Brookside
Boulevard. These are preliminary drawings and can be found on the KCMO website.
h8p://www.kcstreetcar.org/

Regarding the special assessment that will be imposed on the properties within 1/2 mile of either side of the
streetcar line, it is my understanding that the KCMO school district and the KCMO library will be exempt from that
special assessment.

a. Is that correct? yes
b. Will charter schools or parochial schools also be exempt? no
c. Are there other non-profits that will also be exempt? Yes (see below)
i. If so, who are they?
ii. What is the criteria for exemption?

My understanding is that there is a difference between property owned by the US Government, the state of
Missouri and its political subdivisions and taxing jurisdictions, on one hand, and property owned by an “exempt
non-profit entity” on the other hand. The KCMO school district and KCMO library (as well as the State of Missouri,
Jackson County, the KC Housing Authority, Metropolitan community College and other political subdivisions/taxing
jurisdictions) are exempt from the special assessment because they are political subdivisions/taxing jurisdictions. As
to “exempt non-profit” entities, Missouri courts have consistently ruled that the constitutional exemption that exempts
properties owned by such entities from general ad valorem property taxes does not extend to special assessments.

Since the Parks Department owns the Boulevards in fee simple, does the City and/or the transportation authority
(established per statute) have the rights to put a streetcar line on Brookside Blvd?
a. Has a deal already been struck?
b. If so, when and what are the terms of that deal?

The Parks Department is supportive of the concept of placing streetcars on our road/boulevard system. The Parks
Department and Board are fully engaged in the project and Parks is represented on the Technical and Steering
Committees. They have raised no issues that would prevent a streetcar from being placed on any of the corridors
under consideration.

Since the MAX will be phased out along Brookside and Main, what will happen to the Max bus stops that were put
in place along that route?

If the streetcar serves the same function of the MAX line along Brookside/Main Streets, there has been
discussion of moving this function to Prospect, another corridor that would benefit from improved transit options.

Also, since there was once a trolley running down the center of Ward Parkway, was reinstating that line ever
considered? If so, why was the choice made to use the CCROW instead?

The Country Club Right of Way has always been preserved for potenal re-use. That is why the ATA retained
ownership of the land. The Trolley Track Trail was added as a result of neighborhood interest in walking paths
through the neighborhood.

I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to my questions. The mayor recently spoke on KCUR
and advocated that everyone get as informed as possible about the streetcar proposal and related matters. I am
simply trying to do what the mayor suggested and it seems that at each meeting I’ve attended, there’s been
inadequate time for all of my questions to get answered. I am including the BWC meeting, too, since I left my
questions with someone else to pose in my absence.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Sincerely,
Sherry DeJanes

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1 Comment

  1. Larry Thrasher says:

    Will more money be taken from PIEA or Airport funds to pay for streetcar ?

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