The city of Weston is growing, with the approval this week of a new subdivision, but has also suffered a setback in the long-awaited annexation of McCormick's Distillery into the city of Weston.
A public hearing was held Monday, June 10 on the Orchard Hill subdivision, located off Middle Road. Later, during the board of aldermen meeting, the board gave the developers approval to proceed with the 44-lot development, slated for construction of single-family homes.
The board also heard a report from consultant Laura Gray from Lamp Rynerson Engineering, who gave the city some bad news in its efforts to voluntarily annex McCormick's. The distillery wants to hook to the city's sewer system and stop treating its own wastewater. As part of the process, the city asked Gray to analyze the distillery's output for the last three years.
Gray found several high readings, especially in nitrates and phosphorous, which when calculated into the equivalent of people added to the system would equate to kicking up Weston's population by 18,000-25,000 people during peak output from the distillery. Weston's wastewater treatment system was designed for residential treatment for about 1,500-2,000 people. The average output from McCormick's would equate to adding 200-450 people to the system.
“From an engineering perspective I cannot recommend you accept that waste,” Gray told aldermen.
She said McCormick's could pretreat their waste on site before dumping it into the city system, which she said would help reduce the impact of the industrial waste on the system.
Gray also looked into wastewater output from Pirtle Winery and Weston Brewing Company, but said as they were already part of the city's sewer system their impact was minimal. Also, their operations are much smaller.
Alderman Joyce Priddy and volunteer Jeff Elsea have been working for more than a year to accomplish the voluntary annexation of McCormick's Distillery and several adjacent properties into the City of Weston.
While the annexation project has reached a setback, another long-running project may be closer to fruition. City officials spoke to the engineer who designed a new Humes Road bridge in 2015 and have assigned him to re-design the project with a box culvert bridge instead of a span bridge structure. The project is now divided into two phases, where during the first phase the bridge itself will be installed. During a later phase, the bridge would receive guardrails and additional work.
ALSO AT THE MEETING
Priddy told aldermen there was another AirBnB operating illegally in Weston, across the street from her own home. “I was livid when I found out,” Priddy said. Another home in the area is up for sale, she said, and is concerned the rental property will impact the home's value. She has been taking photos of the license plates of guests staying at the illegal operation and asked the city attorney to send a letter to the owner, notifying them that short-term rentals were illegal in Weston.
Priddy also attended a municipal league meeting about the local impacts of medical marijuana legalization in Missouri. The consultant urged cities to review their business license and personnel policies regarding marijuana use.
“The only way it affects how we police things in Weston is that it won't automatically be illegal for certain people to possess or transport it,” said city attorney Jeremy Webb.
Aldermen approved a $5,000 grant to the Weston Masonic Lodge for a fireworks show on Thursday, July 4 as part of the city's Independence Day festivities, which will include a parade.
Weston renewed its membership with the Platte County Economic Development Council after hearing a brief presentation by executive director Alicia Stephens. The city joined at the “platinum” membership level, which costs $3,000.
Planning and Zoning will be tasked with looking at additions to the city's nuisance codes after discussion about maintenance of historic homes. A sample policy from the City of Liberty was located as a starting point for discussions.