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Missouri House committee hears testimony on landfill legislation

JEFFERSON CITY - Testimony for State Rep. Mike Haffner’s (R-Pleasant Hill) House Bill 1751 was heard by the Missouri House of Representatives Local Government Committee Tuesday. Testimony was also heard for Rep. Sherri Gallick’s (R-Belton) House Bill 1438, which relates to solid waste disposal area permits and distances to schools.


HB 1751 would give communities more input on the proposed development of a landfill in south Kansas City on Raymore’s north border. The bill seeks to amend the current state statute that only allows an adjoining municipality to approve or reject a landfill development within a half mile of its border. The change would give adjoining communities a more meaningful voice by extending that authority to a full mile.

 

More than a dozen concerned residents, stakeholders and area leaders testified in person in support of the legislation, including 9-year old Raymore resident Macie Thomas. Thomas said that she would be able to see the landfill from her swing set and asked the committee members to support the bills.

 

Landfill developer Jennifer Monheiser was the sole witness to testify against the proposed legislation and continued to state an immediate need for a landfill, though data released this month by an independent body – the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management District – shows the region has anywhere from 19 to 37 years of remaining landfill capacity. Not only is there no immediate need for a landfill, there is adequate time to plan for future landfill needs and placement (download report below).

 


landfill-capacity-study
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In last year’s House hearing, Monheiser said “We have every single intention and have started the process of reaching out to the communities around us.” She repeated the same answer after being questioned today on whether she has contacted impacted communities. Raymore City officials first requested a meeting with Monheiser in fall of 2022, but as of today, she has not made any contact with Raymore or any other surrounding communities.

 

“It is absolutely critical that impacted communities have a say in decisions that negatively impact our home values, our environment, and most importantly, our health and well-being for generations,” Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow said.

 

Belton Mayor Norman Larkey also testified today.


A committee vote on the bills is anticipated next week. If the legislation passes favorably out of committee, it will be eligible for third read and a vote on the House floor. Senate Bill 739 is identical to HB 1751 and recently passed out of a Senate committee with a 6-0 vote. Any bill must pass successfully through both the Missouri House and Senate in order to become a law.


HB 1751 and SB 739 have broad support among the region’s legislators, and more than 21 cities, counties, school districts and other organizations have voiced public opposition to the landfill location proposed by Monheiser along Kansas City’s southern border with Cass County.

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