After facing fierce opposition from neighbors, Deffenbaugh Industries has pulled it application for a waste transfer station in unincorporated Blue Summit.
At least three dozen residents, business owners and people who work in the area were in the Jackson County legislative chambers Monday expecting to hear the legislature deliberate granting Deffenbaugh a 20-year permit to operate the waste facility. But when the matter came up, legislator Dennis Waits of Independence announced that Deffenbaugh had decided to consider other locations.
County Executive Mike Sanders praised the company for reconsidering. He said the county would help the hauler find another location.
“I think this is democracy in action,” Sanders said. “This exact location didn’t make sense from a global point of view.”
A group formed to oppose the facility, Jackson County Citizens for Economic Justice, claimed the site near 23rd Street and Interstate 435 was unsuitable, citing concerns about traffic and odor. Member Sal Saladino praised legislators for taking time to study the issue.
“They did their homework,” he said. “We’re happy, everybody’s happy.”
A spokesman for Deffenbaugh could not be reached, but Sanders said the company didn’t want to impose itself on the neighborhood.
This would have been Deffenbaugh’s first transfer station in the metro area. Garbage trucks dump tons of trash and recyclables at such facilities so that the waste can be reloaded onto larger trucks. Deffenbaugh wants to cut down on the number of trips its garbage trucks now make between the eastern reaches of Jackson County, the company’s landfill in Shawnee and a recycling center in Kansas City, Kan.
Also Monday, the legislature unanimously approved Sanders’ request for $230,000 to help fund a $750,000 public transit “education campaign.”
That leaves Kansas City as the only local government in the county not to make a contribution to the effort that would be in advance of any ballot issue to support a commuter rail system. Mayor Sly James says he assumed the City Council will approve the city’s share, estimated to be just over $100,000.