Residents concerned for their community if MidwayUSA moves headquaters

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BOONE COUNTY - After the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission denied an expansion request, MidwayUSA CEO Larry Potterfield said he is planning to appeal the decision.

Residents who live near the proposed site are worried their quiet, rural community could turn into a loud industrial area. 

MidwayUSA wants to build a warehouse in a rural area between Columbia and Rocheport on land between Route J and Highway 40.

"Of course we will appeal; that's part of the process," Potterfield said in a Saturday email to KOMU 8 News.

Gary Frisch, a resident from the area, said Potterfield will change the community by building the headquarters.

"They're trying to re-zone these 193 acres, right across the road from us, and change it from agriculture to industrial," Frisch said.

He moved to the community 27 years ago. Most people who live there have been around the area from more than 25 years, according to Denny Stephenson, another resident. He said the building would be too close to his house.

"The building is less than 500 feet from my front door," Stephenson said.

Both residents raise cattle and said they like the quiet, agricultural life. However, having this building would jeopardize their lifestyle.

Frisch said the structure of the building causes it to take up a big part of the land.

"This warehouse is one million square feet, is the size of 20 football fields," Frisch said.

Potterfield said he had a lot in mind for the headquarters. 

"The corner of US Highway 40 and State Route J is a desirable piece of development property," he said. "We've ignored lots of interest over the last ten years, because we've had this plan."

Both residents said they're not against the expansion of the building, but they wish it was somewhere else.

"I think, if this company needs to expand and build, you know, that's fine and that's good," Stephenson said. "I just don't feel this is an appropriate place."

Potterfield told KOMU 8 News the company does have a back-up plan in case the rezoning appeal is not successful.

"Likely we'll just subdivide and sell the property and make other plans for moving company headquarters," he said. 

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