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KANSAS CITY, MO-An area that once thrived, then sat idle and is now gaining attentionfrom artists as well as businessmen, is about to get a much needed shotin the arm. The West Bottoms area that was once the center of of rail andlivestock activity more than 150 yearsago when the city was founded, is to be the recipient of a $3 million federal appropriation toupgrade infrastructure, primarily the storm water sewers.

Funding was part of a legislation package passed by a Senatesubcommittee led by Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo. The fullSenate will consider the measure this week with money likely to be appropriated forthe new fiscal year to begin October 1.

The money will help upgrade the combination sewer systems, that handleboth storm water and sanitary waste. New separate lines should help toalleviate flooding, which has been a problem in the Bottoms in the past.

Improvements will begin on the north end and later extend south, towardKemper Arena. The Bottoms became the home of a Gateway, Inc. customerservice center about five years ago and area developers are now toutingThe Yards office park, trying to attract Butler Manufacturing, wherecompany officials have yet to decide whether to relocate theirMidtown-based company to the Missouri or Kansas side of the Bottoms.

The monies will allow planners and developers to move into a more activeposition, according to Mark Fountain, president of the CentralIndustrial District Association, the group that is working to revitalizethe area.

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