Independence leaning toward high bidder to tear down Missouri City Power Plant

The Independence City Council is expected to vote on July 10 about whether to award a $9 million contract to tear down the shuttered Missouri City Power Plant to Environmental Operations, Inc.

Environmental Operations was one of two qualified bidders to respond to a request for proposals by Independence to buy, demolish and remediate the power plant that the Independence City Council voted to decommission in 2014.

The other company, Commercial Liability Partners, submitted a bid to do the work for $4.5 million. A third company’s bid was rejected by the city as nonresponsive to the request for proposals.

The Missouri City Power Plant is on 87 acres in the rural Missouri town by the same name. It was an asset of Independence Power & Light, a city-owned utility company. The plant shut down in 2015 and Independence has continued to own it since, spending about $32,000 a year to maintain the property.

Members of the Independence Public Utility Advisory Board in its June 15 meeting raised questions about why the Environmental Operations bid was considered the preferred proposal.

Scott Roberson, a city council member in his second term in office, wondered why the city needed to tear the Missouri City Power Plant at all. Roberson said the city council has received little in the way of information about the proposals.

“According to the city charter, the three enterprise funds, which Independence Power & Light is one, is to be run like a business,” Roberson said. “In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, it’s not good business for a board of directors to not be given enough information to make a good business decision.”

A spokeswoman for Independence indicated that City Hall staffers were not available to discuss the Missouri City Power Plant proposal due to the holiday weekend.

The utility advisory board is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the Missouri City proposal once again.

Steve Vockrodt: 816-234-4277, @st_vockrodt