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Bill to stop Kansas City landfill clears Missouri House, heads to governor


Bill to stop Kansas City landfill clears Missouri House, heads to governor

Apr 23, 2024 | 1:11 pm ET
By Allison Kite
Bill to stop Kansas City landfill clears Missouri House, heads to governor
A sign across from the proposed landfill in south Kansas City implores drivers to help stop the project from moving forward. (Allison Kite/Missouri Independent)

Legislation key to keeping a landfill from being built near pricey suburban homes just outside Kansas City is headed to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk. 

The Missouri House gave the legislation final approval by a 121-25 vote on Tuesday. It passed the Senate 24-7 last week.

With Parson’s signature, it would prohibit a landfill from being built in Kansas City within a mile of another municipality unless that adjoining city approves the project. 

The legislation was initially proposed last year after plans for a landfill in south Kansas City became public. Communities surrounding the site have been fighting for more than a year against the project, saying it would harm their health and property values. 

Rep. Mike Haffner, a Republican from Pleasant Hill, noted thousands of children go to school within a couple miles of the proposed landfill site. 

“That is the foundation of the next generation for the state of Missouri,” Haffner said on the House floor Tuesday. “We’ve got to protect them, and I think we did it the right way here.” 

House Majority Leader Jon Patterson, of Lee’s Summit, said there were doubts the legislature could get the bill passed this year. It was filibustered earlier this month in the Senate. 

Patterson called the bill’s passage on Tuesday a “huge win.” 

“I think it’s just a testament to…all the people that have worked on this, all the fine people of the city of Raymore, city of Lee’s Summit,” Patterson said.

Bill to stop Kansas City landfill clears Missouri House, heads to governor
From left, state Rep. Mike Haffner, R-Pleasant Hill, Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, and Rep. Michael Davis, R-Belton, at a press conference following the passage of legislation pertaining to a Kansas City landfill on April 23 (Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications).

The proposed 270-acre landfill, proposed by KC Recycle & Waste Solutions, was planned for a site just south of Missouri Highway 150 in Kansas City. It’s less than a mile from the Creekmoor golf course community, located in Raymore, with homes priced as high as $1 million. 

Under current law, a landfill can’t be built in Kansas City within half a mile of an adjacent city unless that community approves the project. The landfill proposed by KC Recycle & Waste Solutions — run by Jennifer and Aden Monheiser — would have been located between half a mile and one mile from the city’s boundary with Raymore.

When plans for the landfill became public, surrounding communities began lobbying the legislature to increase that buffer zone to one mile to kill the project.

Jennifer Monheiser and some legislators from outside the Kansas City area pushed back, arguing increasing the buffer zone would change the rules on a local business attempting to build a landfill in accordance with existing law. 

But earlier this month, officials from Raymore struck a deal with the Monheisers to keep the landfill from moving in. 

The Raymore City Council voted unanimously last week to approve a deal to pay the Monheisers more than $3.7 million to scrap the project, including $440,000 for the city to acquire a piece of land currently owned by the developers. 

The deal was contingent on the legislation increasing the buffer zone passing and developers’ agreement to impose restrictive use covenants on the property they’ve acquired to prevent it from being used for a landfill in the future. 

Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow said in a statement he was grateful to the lawmakers who supported the legislation. 

“This measure ensures our community is protected from a threat that would have had negative impacts for generations,” Turnbow said. 

Kill The Fill, a political action committee launched to fight the proposed project, celebrated in a social media post after the House vote. 

“Fill almost killed,” the group said. “We’re a signature away.”