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Pact done with eye
toward mass transit

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

An agreement signed by the county commission may help pave the way for mass transit in the county.

On Thursday, the Platte County Commission approved an agreement between the county, Kansas City, Mo., the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission of Kansas City and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Platte County, Missouri.

The agreement relates to the KCI Corridor Project. The TIF area is generally north of Boardwalk Avenue, east of I-29 Highway, south of Tiffany Springs Parkway, and extends east of Ambassador Avenue. Also included in the TIF area are Wal-Mart and Lowe's south of Boardwalk Avenue. The recently opened Tiffany Springs MarketCenter is located within this area.

According to Betty Knight, presiding commissioner, the agreement formally states the county's pledge to provide half of the economic activity taxes (EATs) generated in the area back to the TIF commission. The TIF area does not affect property taxes, which largely go to the Park Hill School District.

Knight said the agreement will also allow the county to be included in possible negotiations with railroads to establish a heavy rail mass transit system in the county.

A heavy rail system relies on existing railroad tracks to place commuter trains on the rails with the other trains.

“There are not a lot of rail lines usable in Platte County,” said Knight. “There are in Clay and Jackson. It's not really feasible in our county.”

Knight said she thought it would be good to be a part of the team if they are talking to the railroads about using the rails.

“When they talk about the lines they will not exclude Platte County,” said Knight. “It is something to explore.”

Also during the meeting, the commission reappointed Melba Nicolaisen and Howard Breen to the IDA.



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