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Potential risks to water supply being identified

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Weston’s Board of Aldermen heard from the Missouri Rural Water Association (MRWA) about creating a possible Wellhead Protection Plan.

The plan, presented by Gary Webber, a MRWA representative, would identify any possible contamination risks near Weston’s wellheads. The plan would also provide local authorities with a course of action should an incident happen.

If the city decides to join the MRWA, then city representatives would go through some training to better understand the study being done for them.

“We do a lot of training for issues like this,” said Webber. “We would do a study to look at the risks that are close to the wellheads.”

Possible risks as sources of contaminations are trains, pesticides pollution from upstream along the creek, or abandoned wells. The study would prioritize the risks and address the ones that should be closely watched to avoid contamination.

The MRWA would also work with the county emergency management department to provide a map of the risks near the wellheads and an action plan for cleaning up any contaminants.

One method Webber suggested of avoiding contamination is to have a household hazardous waste clean up day for residents to get rid of dangerous materials, which can leak into the water source.

Some of the aldermen suggested other possible sources of contamination not mentioned by Webber.

“The Iatan Power Plant is a major concern for water pollution,” said John Collier, alderman.

Webber suggested the city contact the power plant and discuss the measures taken by the power plant to protect the drinking water of Weston.

The city also established a new emergency water fund with $100,000. The money was received as part of a settlement between Kansas City Power and Light, the Sierra Club and the Concerned Citizens of Platte County.

The money was given to the city to provide a source of funding in the event of either contamination to the drinking water or an emergency relating to the water supply.

The fund is protected so no money can be spent without a recommendation from the mayor and approval by a majority of the Board of Aldermen.

The board also discussed the following issues:

•A report was given by Paul Norman of the Weston Chamber of Commerce about upcoming festivals in Weston. Festivals include the Weston Irish Fest hosted by O’Malley’s Irish Pub this weekend and Holiday Weekends in November.

Every weekend in November, Weston will hold a festival celebrating an aspect of the upcoming holiday.

Weston was also named the Best Day Trip in the Kansas City area by Ingram’s magazine for the fifth year in a row. Weston beat out cities such as Lawrence, Belton, and Parkville.

•The board tabled the discussion of revoking the business license for Mac’s Place until the next meeting. This will allow the business owner to continue with installing proper ventilation for the restaurant’s kitchen. Alderman Greg Hoffman, made the motion to allow more time, because the business had significant hardships with the Thomas Street Bridge being closed and the owner has shown good faith to clean up the problems.

•The board voted to seek new bids for its employee insurance coverage. Currently the city uses Principle insurance, but the rates for 2008 are increasing by 14 percent. Weston will provide information for John Joe Insurance Company, an insurance broker, to seek bids for insurance coverage for the city.




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