Imagine you’re in your 60s, facing retirement. You’re working in the theater business, during the Covid Era, and lose your job as a result. This leads to a decision to move in with your son and his family in their new home. Instantly, sadness became happiness; their home is your utopia. Then you wake up and find that a landfill has secretly been planned to be built a mile and a half from this home in a different city and county, but so close. I don’t have to imagine it; this is my reality.
The site for the proposed landfill is in Kansas City, however, there are more families that live within two miles of this landfill in the neighboring cities than actually live near it within Kansas City. And yet we don’t get a voice.
This new reality of a landfill threat is a totally different reality than I envisioned for myself at this time in my life. We are even in a different city and county, and unfortunately, my family is powerless to stop it. My local city worked with lawmakers to create a bill that would allow our city a say. This bill would allow those impacted by such a thing to have a say if they are within one mile of the proposed site (the current law says half of a mile). The rub of it is, the developer doesn’t seem to care that the 50,000 affected people in our area, part of families like mine, are threatened. In addition to that, they have hired some 20 lobbyists to ensure our bill was filibustered to prevent it from being voted on when we had the majority.
Currently, Mayor Lucas of Kansas City has put a moratorium on any landfills in the city of Kansas City until July 2024, and he has promised to conduct open meetings that include all the mayors from these areas to keep us apprised of developments. The clock is ticking, and we still have no assurance that we will win our fight to keep this landfill from becoming a reality.
To make the situation worse, funding for a one-year environmental study conducted at the proposed landfill site was passed but then vetoed by Governor Parson. He declared our plight a local issue and denied us the opportunity to have the land analyzed. How is it a local issue if our local officials have no say in what happens on that land? This is what our area asks daily.
We are dedicated to keeping the landfill from destroying our area; our community is determined to fight. As for me, this house is my investment for the future. I have no other options. When I sold my house and moved in with my kids, I tied my destiny to theirs. Ask yourself, if you were me, how would you feel?
To leaders in Missouri, I call on you to protect my family and this community quickly. To learn about this issue please visit www.killthefill.org and on Facebook follow Stop The Lies! Stop the Landfill!