By Allen Edmonds
RAYMORE – It took a Monday morning “stakeholder meeting” with government and private sector leaders from throughout the area in which the identities of suspected involved parties were named, but the City of Raymore finally received a hint of good news on Tuesday from City Hall in Kansas City regarding a rumored landfill.
The suspicion was made public by Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow and city staff two weeks ago after months of evidence had mounted that a landfill was being planned for an area north of 155th Street along Raymore’s northern boundary. Officials had been unable to get a meaningful response regarding the rumor from Kansas City councilmembers, Mayor Quinton Lucas or City Manager Brian Platt – until Tuesday afternoon.
Following a Twitter post by Raymore city staff attaching a PowerPoint presentation from the Monday meeting, Platt tweeted in reply, “We aren’t doing a landfill anywhere in Kansas City. @MayorTurnbow I heard your sunshine requests confirmed this. Email me at BrianPlatt@kcmo.org if you would like to discuss- I also gave your city manager my cell #. I’ve said before this is a great location for housing.”
Turnbow said the resulting conversation went well.
“It was a very positive conversation,” said Turnbow. “I hope it leads the way forward to kill any potential landfill at that location. I think putting it in writing would effectively send a message to discourage pursing a landfill in this area.”
After months of quiet concern and two weeks after raising the issue publicly, Raymore leaders increased the heat Monday by naming a Lee’s Summit attorney and a Kansas City developer they believed to be directly involved in an effort to buy up land for a potential landfill on property just to the north of Raymore’s Creekmoor development.
During the meeting at Centerpoint Monday, Turnbow told area business and government leaders that the city first leared of the possibilty of a landfill development in southeast Kansas City early this past summer.
Then last month, the city received multiple communications from different sources regarding the project, Turnbow said.
The city began attempts to contact Kansas City officials at that time, but received no meaningful reply.
Staff for Kansas City’s Public Works Director issued a statement denying that any applications for a landfill had been received, but no direct communication occurred. It was at that point, Raymore officials went public with their concern, Turnbow said.
Then, on Nov. 1, Turnbow said, attorney Jim Bowers of the Rouse Frets White Goss law firm confirmed involvement in the possible development of the “Flying H Landfill” in an email, Turnbow said. Bowers confirmed he represented developer Aden Monheiser in the project in a conversation with Raymore City Attorney Jonathan Zerr, Turnbow told attendees on Monday.
As of Monday, Turnbow said, multiple attempts to connect with Kansas City officials were still unanswered, and Raymore leaders were in the process of engaging with consulting and public relations firms and would also begin conversations with specialized law firms.
The city was at a disadvantage, Turnbow admitted, because neither it, nor Raymore citizens have obvious legal standing to fight such a development.
Meanwhile, city residents face a potential negative impact on future development and the deterioration of home values.
The potential site would be located in close proximity to tens of thousands of area residents in not just Raymore, but Lee’s Summit, Grandview and Kansas City, Turnbow said. Additionally, the site would be close to multiple elementary schools, would lie within the Little Blue River Watershed and the headwaters to Longview Lake.
Landfill odors as well as near-constant excavation noise would be prevalent, he said.
Turnbow said Platt promised to forward his concerns to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.