Bonds for American Royal project to return to UG agenda on Thursday

The STAR bond project for the American Royal will return to the Unified Government Commission at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.

The UG meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Commission Chambers, lobby level, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kansas. The public hearing on the STAR bond project was continued from the Nov. 29 meeting.

There will be a 5 p.m. special session Thursday at the fifth floor conference room at City Hall. It will be a legislative dinner and program.

The UG is amending the STAR bond project for the American Royal to make it come into compliance with a directive from the state department of commerce, according to UG officials. The Northwest Speedway STAR bond project is a sales tax special obligation revenue bond issue not to exceed $95 million.

The total $160 million project was approved in 2017, with $80 million in STAR bonds and $80 million to be raised in private donations, according to Katherine Carttar, interim UG economic development director, who described it at the Nov. 29 UG meeting and public hearing.

An attorney for the American Royal stated the project includes a 5,000-seat arena for the American Royal’s agricultural events, which also may be used for other community events. There are plans for at least 400,000 square feet of exhibition space that can hold up to 2,000 animals in them at a time, and this space also could be used for other exhibitions for the community at other times, the attorney said. The American Royal is more than halfway through its fundraising process.

Carttar said at the Nov. 29 meeting that there will be a first drawdown of a $10 million bond issuance and a $10 million match so that the American Royal could get started on their project. These funds will allow for land acquisition and infrastructure for the entire site, she said.

The remainder of the STAR bonds, $70 million, will remain in escrow until the American Royal has raised the remaining $70 million in private funding, Carttar said.

If approved at the Dec. 6 meeting, the bond issuance would be in late December, she said. Infrastructure construction would begin in spring 2019, with the American Royal Complex construction beginning in late 2019, she said.

Also on the Dec. 6 UG Commission agenda:

• A lease-purchase agreement with Axon to supply tasers and equipment to the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, for $313,053 in a five-year plan.

• A resolution authorizing the donation of used lockers from the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department to Piper High School, the Tonganoxie Fire Department and the Wyandotte County Historical Society.

• A change of wording in the block party permit policy making the liability language in the policy consistent with the language in the permit application.

• An ordinance to modernize the private on-site wastewater systems regulations. The changes include meeting minimum KDHE standards for design and construction; allowing for holding tanks; replacing per soil tests with updated soil profile tests; licensing of contractors; permitting in order to begin construction; and enforcement of code violations.

• Revisions to the Human Resource Guide policies, including health care benefits, employee assistance program and flexible spending account plans.

• A public hearing and ordinance on issuing about $11 million in taxable industrial revenue bonds for Boyer KC MBO LC, 1601 N. 98th St. The bonds will provide funds to pay the cost of acquiring, purchasing, constructing, installing and equipping a commercial facility. This property is listed as a medical office building near 98th and Parallel Parkway.

For an earlier story on the STAR bond project for the American Royal, visit http://wyandottedaily.com/star-bond-project-for-american-royal-being-modified/.

To see the Dec. 5 UG agenda, visit www.wycokck.org.

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