Governor Mike Parson of Missouri approves legislation to close landfill in south Kansas City

A sign placed opposite the designated landfill in south Kansas City urges motorists to join the effort in preventing the project from progressing.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson took action on Monday by signing legislation to prevent a landfill from relocating to south Kansas City. This marks the conclusion of a lengthy endeavor by the surrounding communities to impede the project.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson expressed his enthusiasm for the legislation, describing it as a significant victory for property rights throughout the state of Missouri.

According to Parson, this simple and practical measure will give homeowners a greater say in the types of developments that are permitted in their communities.

The legislation focuses on KC Recycle & Waste Solutions’ proposal to construct a landfill at the southern border of Kansas City with Raymore. Over the past year, Raymore and other suburban municipalities in Kansas City have been advocating for legislation that would prevent the establishment of the landfill. Their argument is based on concerns about potential negative impacts on the environment, property values, and the health of residents.

In a statement on Monday, Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow expressed his relief at the governor’s signature.

“It’s hard to put into words how our community feels,” expressed Turnbow. “The governor’s signature has finally lifted the cloud that has loomed over our city for almost two years since we initially heard about this proposed development.”

KC Recycle & Waste Solutions, owned by Jennifer and Aden Monheiser, had intentions of constructing a landfill in a location just south of Missouri Highway 150, situated near the border of Kansas City and Raymore. This proposed landfill would occupy an area of 270 acres and be located less than a mile away from Creekmoor, an upscale residential community in Raymore featuring homes with prices reaching up to $1 million.

Under current laws in Missouri, the construction of a landfill in Kansas City is prohibited within half a mile of a neighboring city without the consent of that community. However, advocates for the city of Raymore and other opponents of the project have pushed for an extension of this buffer zone to one mile.

Rep. Mike Haffner, a Republican from Pleasant Hill, has championed their cause by sponsoring legislation to expand the buffer zone in the Missouri House. In a statement released on Monday, Haffner expressed his satisfaction with Governor Parson’s decision to sign the legislation, describing it as a strong testament to their unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights of all Missourians.

According to Haffner, the passing of this legislation is a significant win for the residents of Missouri. It reflects their strong desire to protect their property rights and maintain the overall welfare of their communities. Haffner emphasizes the importance of supporting economic growth, but not at the cost of harming local families, small business owners, and their means of making a living.

Jennifer Monheiser initially resisted the legislation, arguing that expanding the buffer zone would alter the regulations for a local business that had already started acquiring land and developing plans for the facility.

Last year, the legislation was initially introduced and successfully passed through the Missouri House. However, it faced an obstacle in the form of a filibuster in the Senate. Unfortunately, a similar scenario unfolded during the current legislative session.

Last month, Raymore city officials made a deal with the Monheisers. According to the deal, the Monheisers would abandon their project if the buffer zone legislation was approved and signed by Parson.

Monheiser expressed her satisfaction with the resolution in an interview with The Independent, stating, “I’m glad there’s a resolution that we can all live with.”

Monheiser expressed his disappointment with the outcome, but also expressed optimism about the possibility of collaborating with the affected communities to address the waste issue in Kansas City.

The Raymore City Council unanimously approved an agreement in which the city will pay over $3.7 million to the Moheisers. This includes a payment of $440,000 for the acquisition of one of the land parcels owned by the developers. Additionally, KC Recycle & Waste Solutions has agreed to adopt restrictive covenants to ensure that the land cannot be used for a landfill in the future.

Monheiser argued that the payment of $3.7 million was insufficient for her business to benefit from abandoning the proposed landfill and did not fully compensate for the losses incurred. While she did not provide specific details on how she and the city calculated this amount, she mentioned that her business had to bear expenses related to engineering and legal services, as well as the purchase of land. Additionally, Monheiser and her husband dedicated a significant amount of time and effort to the project.

“I can’t say for certain why we settled on that specific number, but it was a figure that was suggested and agreed upon by all parties involved. So, we decided to proceed with it,” she explained.

Monheiser expressed uncertainty about the future use of the land acquired for the landfill project, apart from the portion that will be sold to the city of Raymore. While exploring potential development options, she made it clear that the land will not be utilized for waste management purposes.

Monheiser remains dedicated to finding a solution for garbage disposal in the metropolitan area. However, she has only identified the south Kansas City site as a potentially viable option.

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