By Don Bradley
A proposed giant landfill at Raymore’s front door is now officially more than rumors.
Aden Monheiser, the developer Raymore officials have long said is behind the project, recently told Missouri legislators he had secured 237 acres for the project.
A contingent of Raymore officials recently traveled to Jefferson City to discuss the project and learned that Monheiser and a lobbyist had visited with the same people the previous day. According to Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow, Monheiser told a legislator their intent was to “humanize” themselves before making a formal application to the state in April.
“The threat is very real and now is the time to act,” Turnbow said.
On February 14, citizens and local government leaders delivered powerful testimony in Jefferson City in support of House Bill 909 during a hearing before the House Local Government Committee, to oppose the proposed landfill in southern Jackson County, located at the border with Cass County, and across the street from the Raymore residential development of Creekmoor.
Raymore has scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 16. The city also has hired a legal team, a public relation firm and started a webpage called “KillTheFill.”
The proposed landfill site is in a bounded area between Missouri 150 Highway and 155th Street, north of Raymore’s Creekmore subdivision, golf course and lake. The landfill operation would serve Kansas City, though officials there have repeatedly denied any knowledge of Monheiser’s plan.
Raymore officials say the location would harm property values, stymie future development and possibly reduce funding for emergency services such as fire and police.
The issue kicked up last year with rumors about the landfill. Kansas City officials denied any involvement with City Manager Brian David Platt even saying the site near Raymore would not be appropriate for landfill use.
Raymore officials weren’t convinced. They continued to dig and learned from an attorney who formerly worked for Kansas City in land use matters that Monheiser was involved and that the project was being called the “Flying H landill”. The Flying H is a horse farm within the bounded area.
The owner of the horse farm has denied any involvement.
Another landowner in the area recently told Turnbow that he was no longer able to talk with him about the project because he had signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Raymore officials have grown frustrated with Kansas City’s continued silence on the topic. A landfill project would typically be regionally studied and involve impacted cities while this one appears rogue rather than mutual participation and has resulted in a public relations nightmare, Turnbow said.
“Kansas City obviously told Mr. Monheiser that a need exists,” Turnbow said.
Kansas City officials did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
Lee’s Summit and Grandview have both announced opposition to the landfill project.
South Metro Fire Chief Lee Stevens said any reduced tax revenue for Raymore caused by the landfill could result in less funding for emergency services.
He said Tuesday he would ask his board to officially oppose the project.