Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser unveiled a proposal this week that calls for borrowing $100 million to finance infrastructure improvements and security measures around the city’s schools.
The Schools First initiative would pay for upgrading sidewalks, roads and other initiatives around the city’s 260 schools with the goal of improving education. “By providing a safe and pleasant environment for kids to walk to school, this initiative will also improve the community quality of life as a whole,” a statement on the proposal read.
Funkhouser did not outline specifically how the city would repay the $8 million annual debt service on the proposed borrowing, but said no tax increase would be needed. “We need to identify funding sources, secure and maximize the impact of federal, city and private funding streams that are aimed at issues related to this initiative,” he said.
The measure requires City Council approval to put the bonding to a vote. It would require a super-majority of 57% to win voter approval.