It's a packed house Thursday at a Raymore special city council meeting to discuss a planned landfill. Photo by Don Bradley

Raymore City council passes ordinance opposing possible landfill

But it is Kansas City and the State of Missouri who could decide the issue.

By Don Bradley

Opponents of a landfill proposed in southeast Kansas City packed a Raymore meeting hall Thursday night, letting the developer know they were organized and ready to fight.

First it was elected officials who attacked the project and pledged legislative roadblocks to the plan unveiled Tuesday in Jefferson City by Jennifer Monheiser, who owns a waste transfer station in Kansas City.

Two bills have already been introduced, one each in the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives. Raymore officials, who say the proposed landfill is at their front door, have taken the lead in the opposition and passed an ordinance at Thursday’s meeting to try to block the plan.

“This is a threat to everyone who lives here,” Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow said. “It’s up to us to stand up.”

Then it was the people, the ones who live in the area, who stepped to the microphone and talked about odor, kids in nearby schools, property values and health concerns.

A father talked about his son with asthma attending kindergarten at a nearby school. A woman said she has been contacted by a real estate agent working with the developer about selling her property for the project.

“Our family’s been there 140 years and some of the younger ones might want to live there in the future,” she said.

Harrelson Hall, where the meeting was held, holds 400 people. Every seat was taken, people stood in the back and sides with more in the lobby watching on TV. Before the meeting, many braved the sub-freezing cold by holding protest signs outside. “Kill the Fill,” some said. Another: “Don’t Dump on Us.”

At the end of public comments, the Raymore City Council unanimously passed an ordinance opposing the approval of a landfill within one-half mile of the city limits, which would cut into the developer’s plan.

But it is Kansas City and the State of Missouri who could decide the issue.

Raymore officials have used “cloak and dagger” to describe Monheiser’s strategy to start the project without any public notice. The Raymore ordinance says she began “without consideration of the well-being of children, homeowners and businesses in the area.” The landfill, the ordinance says, would cause plummeting property values and have a devastating impact on schools and development.

The Raymore special council meeting and public hearing came two days after Monheiser, who also operates KC Recyling and Waste Solutions, told a Missouri House committee that she is under contract for 500 acres and plans to use 270 of those for the landfill.

The site is between Missouri 150 Highway and 155th Street, between Horridge Road and Peterson Road, north of Raymore’s Creekmore subdivision, golf course and lake.

Raymore officials say three elementary schools, Summit Pointe, Creekmoor and Timber Creek are in close proximity.

Belton, Lee’s Summit, Peculiar, Grandview and Cass County oppose the project as do school districts in the area.

Neither Monheiser, nor any of her representatives, attended the Raymore meeting. She told state officials that the Kansas City region needs a new landfill and her plan is more cost effective than hauling waste to Kansas or elsewhere.

Speakers at the meeting attempted to debunk that claim.

After a geologist talked about the ground at the proposed site not being conducive for a landfill, Missouri state Sen. Rick Brattin said he didn’t care if the ground was perfect for a landfill.

“It still can’t happen here,” Brattin said.

No one spoke in favor of Monheiser’s plan.

After a steady stream of opponents, Mayor Pro-tem Reginald Townsend encouraged any landfill supporter to step to the microphone. A man already standing there slowly backed away as the crowd laughed.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: