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Sunset Greens Residents Say 'No' to Missouri American Water Trailer...At Least for Now

Missouri American Water brought its proposal for a new trailer facility on the South County plant to a public hearing Monday, but left with a pending review.

The South County branch of the Missouri American Water Company was hoping to receive a push forward at a public hearing during the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen meeting July 10.

What they got instead were a lot of questions and complaints.

David Moore, Missouri American Water's real estate manager, and engineer representative Matt Dwyer took to the podium during the meeting to present the proposed additions to the South County plant campus located in Sunset Hills. The plans included the use of an asphalt lot, a tuff shed unit for storage and a 40 by 80 foot trailer.

Moore said the purpose of the 4/10 of an acre lot on the 53-acre campus would be to serve as a reporting station for company workers in the South County area. The trailer would house a meeting room, office for a supervisor, and two restrooms. The lot, the base for the trailer and shed, would also grant space for 15 company vehicles and 15 personal parking spots.

Although the proposal was approved for review by the Planning and Zoning Commission, residents of the neighboring Sunset Greens subdivision came forward to address past Missouri American Water issues.

Don Stoppelman, Sunset Greens president and trustee, lives in a house adjacent to the plant property. Stoppelman said the plant "keeps mushrooming into a bigger enterprise," but has too many problems from the past to fix with subdivision residents.

"There are too many unresolved issues in my mind to complete before this [initiative] starts," Stoppelman said.

Fellow Sunset Greens resident Marylee Hintmann agreed, expressing concern over noise abatement burms and visual screening intended to separate the neighborhood from the nearby water plant property.

"The burm was shorter than promised by about half and was supposed to be completed last spring," Hintmann said. 

Ward 4 Alderwoman Pat Fribis also noted the evergreen trees planted surrounding the property to act as a visual screen for neighborhood residents. The trees, also shorter than the six-foot original proposal, are mostly dying after being planted last year. Fribis credited the recent heat spurt as a potential reason for the decay, but still suggested improvement.

Moore said the estimated cost for the brand new trailer would be $90,000-$110,000, opting for a permanent trailer housing as a "cost decision." 

Several aldermen board members requested an inquiry into a cost estimate for a permanent, more stable facility for upkeep and aesthetic purposes. This, among resolutions to resident concerns, were reasons for postponing further conditional use permit review until next month.

The Board of Aldermen agreed to work with Missouri American Water and Sunset Greens residents to enact compliance on previous mandates and conduct more research into the current proposal.

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