City of Raymore takes next step in fight against landfill

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 10:39 PM CST
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RAYMORE, Mo. (KCTV) - The fight against a landfill in south Kansas City hit a new level Thursday.

The city council of neighboring Raymore voted not to allow it within half a mile of its city limits. State law gives them veto power in that distance.

The developer has yet to request a permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), but the city took the vote after a public hearing as a preemptive strike.

More than a dozen people stood outside the city’s Centerview events center in the bitter cold a full hour before the hearing began. They held signs and chanted, “No landfill!”

Inside, nearly 20 people -- residents of several surrounding cities -- made impassioned pleas.

“The only way to stop this is to keep fighting,” said one man.

They were concerned about the value of their homes and quality of life. They were concerned about the habitat of wildlife in the area not far from Longview Lake. They were concerned about the school children at several schools close to the planned site.

“I cannot imagine all that traffic on 150 [Highway] and the smell while the kids are out at recess,” remarked Patrica Gore, a retired Lee’s Summit school teacher.

“This is our home,” said Raymore resident Sarah Thompson, nearly in tears. “It is not right. And thank you for standing up for us, because we need it.”

“Kansas City spent a lot of money on that Parkway. It was supposed to be a scenic Parkway,” said Republican state Rep. Sherri Gallick, who represents Belton.

She’s one of several state lawmakers who addressed the crowd. That included a Democrat lawmaker who noted that opposition to the plan has bipartisan support.

Rep. Mike Haffner and Sen. Rick Brattin filed companion bills that would expand the veto zone from half a mile to a mile.

The site in question has raised the ire of not just Raymore. Governing bodies for Lee’s Summit, Belton, Peculiar, and Cass County have passed resolutions in opposition, as has the Lee’s Summit School Board.

Until this week, the plan for a landfill was just rumor. Tuesday, at a hearing on the house bill, the developer made her intentions known publicly.

“We’ve had our engineers looking at multiple sites all over the region,” said Jennifer Monheiser, owner of KC Recycling and Waste Solutions. “In the initial stages of our due diligence, we did land on a spot in southern Jackson County.”

She added that she and her husband live near a landfill in Lee’s Summit.

“We bought our land and built our house at a premium rate,” she said. “I have not had any problems and I don’t worry about it because I know that with 21st century landfills and all of the regulatory processes put into place protect the health and safety of the people around.”

The site abuts Raymore but sits in Kansas City. Kansas City residents also sounded off Thursday night. One woman said she’d been pushing for the city council there to take note. They drafted an ordinance, but it has not yet had its first reading.

Congressman Mark Alford said he brokered a phone conversation between Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, in which Lucas agreed they are both opposed to that location for a landfill.

Some at Thursday’s meeting made a point of noting that no Kansas City lawmakers were present.

All the remarks made in that meeting will be sent to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in the event that a permit request is filed in the future.

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