Oct. 5, 2019

Mallory Herrmann

The city council has agreed to annex the property at Woodland Elementary School, which is adjacent to the city’s corporate limits near Smart Road and 50 Highway.

The voluntary annexation was requested by the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, who plans to construct and connect a low-pressure sewer system to the city’s sanitary system. The school currently uses a private sewage treatment system, which Director of Facilities Kyle Gorrell says is no longer in compliance with current regulatory requirements.

The school was built 17 years ago, and the sanitary sewer is an issue that the district has been concerned about for years. After commissioning an evaluation of the system, district staff considered two options: annexation in order to connect to the city’s system or purchasing a new private package. The upfront costs for each option are comparable, Gorrell said, but the long-term maintenance costs of simply replacing the private system make it the more expensive choice.

The low-pressure sewer system will be owned and maintained by the school district. Potential costs to the city include the provision of municipal services (such as police and fire) to the property.

The annexation petition was filed on Aug. 6. It was approved by the council with a unanimous vote after the Oct. 1 public hearing. No members of the public made any comment, either for or against.

“I’m glad we’re able to partner on putting this together,” said Councilmember Rob Binney.

Mayor Bill Baird said that he appreciated Binney’s sentiment and added that continued collaboration would be needed.

“This is a show of good faith on our part,” Baird said.

With the passing of the first reading, a 14-day written objection period has begun to allow qualified voters in the area to state any objections. As no qualified voters reside on the single parcel, the council expects to vote on a second reading at their Oct. 15 meeting.

All councilmembers were present for the Oct. 1 session.