Despite continuing indications of a messy, unorganized process, the Kansas City Council can take an important step this week in the effort to build a new terminal at Kansas City International Airport.
Thursday, the council is expected to take up an ordinance confirming the choice of Edgemoor Infrastructure as the lead developer on the terminal project.
The ordinance authorizes the city to finalize a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, with the company. The council should pass the measure — but if, and only if, it has received full written disclosure of the terminal selection committee’s reasoning for its Edgemoor recommendation.
We have not endorsed any of the proposers in the KCI terminal competition. But the council faces a relatively stark choice, with time running out: It can accept Edgemoor as the winning bidder, or it can reject the selection and start over.
Some council members disagree with this legal analysis. They think they should be able to substitute another bidder, perhaps Burns & McDonnell or AECOM, before approving the ordinance. That seems like poor reasoning on practical grounds alone. Members of the terminal selection committee sat through presentations from all four terminal proposers, discussed the plans at length and are in the best position to judge the relative merits of the plans.
Substituting a different bidder would allow council members to replace the committee’s work with their own less informed conclusions. That would prompt legal scrutiny and would add to the chaos surrounding the project.