Federal Lab Plan Changes Dream Home into Nightmare

1 decade 1 year 6 months ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 7:40:10 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News

But, that proposal may spoil one resident's plan for his $400,000 dream home.

"I went out as far as having the lot lines or the house plans staked out," said Jerry Morin. "I just did not want to be looking out my backdoor of a new-constructed home and see a 12-acre building lit up like a football field."

The dean of MU Veterinary Medicine, Joe Kornegay, and Stephan Hencey, the project manager, said there would be minimal light intrusion on adjacent property. And Tom Curtis of the University of Texas- Galveston Medical Branch, which already has a similar facility, said the main threat is to people in the proposed building, not the surrounding community.

"We've worked to ensure that the facility itself will be isolated from the developing areas," explained Kornegay. "That there would be sufficient land, if you will, to buffer the facility. One of the four criteria that are empahsized in the request for proposals is community acceptance."

Added Curtis, "People saw with the advent of 2001, October and the anthrax episodes, they saw that there was a real need to protect people from folks who might use a naturally occurring or engineered organisms as a terrorist threat."

But, Morin responded, "This is a huge project in terms of dollars for the University. I can understand it from their point of view. I doubt they understand it from our point of view. And if they do, is there really any concern for them toward us? I still have my heart set on building this home, but if this becomes a reality behind us, there are too many complexities with a facility like this that I'm not even aware of yet. This is our dream home that we had planned. And, we may just have to change our plans and build our dream home somewhere else."

Kornegay said there will be more opportunities for public comment on the plan. The Department of Homeland Security will decide by this fall if and where it will continue with its construction plan.

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