(Kansas City, Mo.) – Businesses and homes in south Kansas City are one step closer to greater flood protection. On March 2nd, federal and city leaders broke ground on the fifth and final phase of the Dodson Industrial Flood Protection Project.
“It’s been a long time coming. This is going to protect 30 local businesses of Kansas City and provide jobs for a lot of folks,” said KC Water Director Terry Leeds. “We’re looking forward to the construction to begin and in a couple of years we’ll be ready for the next 500-year storm that comes our way.”
The project is funded in part with GO Bonds Kansas City voters approved in April 2017. The remaining funding was secured with the help of Kansas City’s congressional delegation, with support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“When Mayor James called me and said we’re going to put these GO Bonds on the ballot, and if we’re able to get them approved, is that going to help? I said, if we’re able to pass GO Bonds in Kansas City we’re going to move up to the top of the line because most communities don’t have the matching dollars that are required for the Corps of Engineers to step in,” said U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. “So, right now Kansas City is probably one of the cities that is going to benefit the most because of all of the money we have available in terms of the federal and the local match. Most cities, most communities have not been able to do this, so I hope the voters of Kansas City feel really good about what they’ve been able to do.”
This is the second large flood control project funded by the bonds. The first is along Turkey Creek and both of these have been a long time coming.
“These are long term, decades’ long projects we’ve been working on, on an incremental basis as we captured money out of the existing revenue” said Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte. “This allows us to accelerate it, get these projects done and expand the flood protection for these residents and businesses who’ve been down here for decades.
Work on the levee is expected to be completed in 2020.
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KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area. KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.