KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Council delayed a vote on a landfill moratorium Thursday as debate turned to regional cooperation instead of trash.

Councilmembers are considering an ordinance that could put a pause on a developer’s potential landfill in south Kansas City. Several neighboring communities in Jackson and Cass counties have pushed back on the project.

The proposed moratorium would prevent the city from issuing permits or approving zoning for facilities like the south Kansas City landfill until June 2024.

Councilman Kevin McManus represents the city’s 6th District, people who live in the area where the proposed landfill would go. He said many of them don’t want to see this project in their neighborhood.

But two councilmembers protested the ordinance on Thursday, saying they want an open conversation with other nearby cities.

“It always appears that the region wants to work with us when it’s something that they need, but when it’s something that we want and need there’s not much conversation about it,” Councilman Lee Barnes Jr. said.

“I’m not necessarily for or against a landfill, but damnit let us decide what’s best for us,” Barnes added.

Councilwoman Katheryn Shields agreed with Barnes. She said she doesn’t see smaller neighboring cities working cooperatively with Kansas City. 

“It just gets frustrating that year after year, after year our suburban elected officials in Jefferson City think that their job is to try to figure out how to hamstring Kansas City, Missouri, rather than how to work with us, rather than how to work with us to make the economic engine, which is Kansas City, Missouri, work for the whole state,” Shields said. 

McManus said he understands the frustration but hopes they can come to a resolution.

“Those Kansas City, Missouri, residents are concerned about this, and the way it might impact their home values,” McManus said. “And so I get the frustration with other officials, but I don’t want our taxpayers to get caught in the crosshairs of that.”

Council members decided to have more conversation and hold the vote until next week.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said he’ll share their messages with nearby cities and see what collaboration means to them.