Bio-defense Facility Still Worries Some

9 years 7 months 10 hours ago May 08, 2007 May 8, 2007 Tuesday, May 08 2007 Tuesday, May 08, 2007 5:14:43 PM CDT in News
The Columbia Chamber of Commerce surveyed city and Boone county residents about the research complex. The lab is what DHS calls a "National Bio and Agro- Defense Facility."

Tuesday the Columbia chamber revealed results of the poll conducted last month.

"We were not looking for any specific outcome. We were just trying to objectively gage public sentiment towards this new proposed facility here in Columbia," said Michael Vangel, former Chamber of Commerce chairman.

It turns out 73% of Colombians had never heard of the plan. But when explained by the polsters, 33% supported it.  And while the Chamber has not decided whether it will support the controversial facility- Ken Midkiff knows he will not.  Midkiff and the Sierra Club fear what could happen if an accident occurs.

"Nobody intended for the Titanic to hit an iceberg and be sunk. Nobody intended for the Challenger to explode, but the Titanic did and the challenger did," said Ken Midkiff, Osage Group, Sierra Club.  The site proposed is part of MU's South Farms.

It's just east of Highway 63 and New Haven Elementary School.  Midkiff is worried about the people who already live in the area.

"Most residents of the Woodstock Trailer Court, which is immediately adjacent to this facility - aren't even aware that this is being considered for a site," Midkiff said.

Officials expect to know in July if Columbia survived the second round of cuts.  If selected, MU would deed 30 acres of land and provide amenities like roads and electricity for the project to get the federal government to build it.

To view a .pdf copy of the full report of the survey, click on the link above titled "Columbia NBAF Survey."

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