Monday, May 6, 2013

Kansas City streetcar still in litigation limbo

Posted By on Mon, May 6, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Stretch might be smiling today with a court decision in his favor.

Stretch can stop flipping over couch cushions - he won't have to find money to help pony up a $20 million bond to keep his lawsuit against the Kansas City streetcar going.

An appeals court judge late Friday issued a ruling that flicked away an attempt by lawyers representing the streetcar project to have Grinders owner Jeff "Stretch" Rumaner and River Market businesswoman Sue Anne Burke post a $20 million bond in order for the project to remain tied up in the courts.

That decision surely comes to the chagrin of Kansas City leaders and streetcar boosters who maintain that Stretch and Burke's lawsuit prevents the issuance of bonds to finance the two-mile streetcar line and that delays may increase its costs.

The lawsuit is challenging the notion that a transportation-development district (a funding mechanism that increases sales taxes and levies special property-tax assessments to pay for transportation-related improvements) can be stacked atop an area where one already exists.

And so for now, the lawsuit lives, and its conclusion in favor of either side is unlikely to arrive in May.

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