Voters to deal with another Clay Chastain rail plan

government centergeneric photoA city council committee on Wednesday advanced yet another Clay Chastain light rail plan that will likely go to voters.

The plan may be illegal but it is not unconstitutional on its face, so a court will not stop the effort to put it on the ballot, said City Attorney Bill Geary.

“Put this on the November ballot and see what happens,” he said, and the legality of it will come into play if it passes.

The entire city council will vote on the ballot language on July 28.

Chastain’s group gathered about 50 more than the 1,709 signatures needed to force the vote, Geary said.

It asks that three sales taxes, including money that funds buses, be used to construct light rail from KCI to the Cerner campus in south Kansas City and from Union Station to the Truman Sports Complex.

The language states that the money might not be enough for the project but it would fund as much of it as possible.

Chastain, who has mounted many such efforts over the years, now lives in Virginia but still comes to the city to gather signatures outside supermarkets and elsewhere.

Geary and city council members made it clear they do not support the plan.

A city-supported plan to extend the Downtown streetcar system south to UMKC is pending with different financing and goes to a court hearing in September.

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