City officials reveal new plan to eliminate blight as part of FY17 submitted budget

Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
Feb. 11, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — In two year’s time, it’s the city’s goal for you to see less dangerous building around your neighborhood.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and the city manager revealed plans today to demolish more than 800 dangerous buildings and reduce blight within the city over two years.The plan is part of the city’s $1.5 billion budget recommendation. The City Council will vote on the plan in March.

In the past, city officials have estimated it would cost roughly $10 million to demolish all homes on the dangerous buildings list. The city spends about $800,000 annually tearing down these buildings, which equals to about 100 per year. However, the list continues to grow as more buildings are added. The submitted budget also addresses other key issues such as staffing, code enforcement, infrastructure and maintenance.

As part of the bold new plan to eliminate blight and revitalize Kansas City neighborhoods, the submitted budget proposes a comprehensive $10 million bond issue to eliminate dangerous buildings over the next two years. The submitted budget will pay for annual bond debt service by reinvesting the city’s annual demolition budget of nearly $800,000 and an additional $500,000 that would have otherwise gone to the Kansas City Police Department. Additionally, city leaders are working on plans to help make it easier and cheaper — $1 for properties with the ability to receive up to $8,500 in rebates — for residents to purchase dangerous buildings and vacant properties for rehabilitation.

“If they expect nothing else, Kansas Citians expect city government to take care of neighborhoods, and this budget, does just that,” James said. “The city manager and I are fully committed to make sure we have clean, safe neighborhoods today and for the future.”

Interactive maps which pinpoint Kansas City’s dangerous buildings can be found online:
A digital Heat map of dangerous buildings: http://bit.ly/dbheatmap
A point map of dangerous buildings: http://bit.ly/kcdbmap
An interactive way to explore our dangerous buildings data: http://bit.ly/kcdbexplorer

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