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Durham County commissioners vote against bio-lab

Posted August 12, 2008

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— The Durham County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 Monday evening against a proposal to site a federal research lab in Butner. The proposal has become the target of growing opposition from Butner residents and neighboring communities.

Butner is one of five finalist locations that the Department of Homeland Security is considering for a National Bio- and Agro-Defense facility that would study animal diseases and diseases spread from animals to humans.

Supporters say the lab would bring about 1,500 short-term construction jobs and would eventually employ up to 500 people and could generate $6 billion in the local economy over the next two decades.

Local residents have rallied in opposition to the proposed lab, fearing germs for diseases like avian flu could be released in the community or the lab could be the target of a terrorist attack.

Granville County officials withdrew their support for the lab earlier this year, and the Raleigh City Council expressed formal opposition to the lab last week, saying councilors wanted to protect the headwaters of Falls Lake, the city's primary reservoir, from possible contamination.


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  • endlessnameless Aug 12, 2008

    No bio-lab, but prisons are ok. rapists and killers aren't a threat either. there is more of a chance of a prisoner escaping than the avian flu.

  • divajls Aug 12, 2008

    I agree with ncxphotos. By letting fear and ignorance run rampant, our elected officials are doing us a double disservice. The first is in under-educating the public. The second will come when they need more $$ for the budget and they raise taxes rather than be able to access some revenue from this project. I'll be taking a very close look at which commissioners voted which way on this and that will definitely influence my decision in the next election.

  • superman Aug 12, 2008

    People are being layed off in business and they need to work. Chicken little says the sky is falling. You must have a miserable life if you walk around all day and night trying to figure out what might happen or could happen. You ever thought about the threat and damage of gas stations. Terrorist could leave a bomb at every gas station in the city. What you think would be left if every gas station in town exploded. Of course you dont want the gas stations closed and moved-- they convenient for you and you need the gas. It is soon enough to worry about a problem when it happens much less worry about something that might happen! Oh well, Chicken Lititle is right the sky is falling!

  • Supie Aug 12, 2008

    thank heavens for politicians who do their homework and aren't "knee jerk conservatives" who are ready to jump on the first poo-wagon that comes by, like others we hear from.

    it doesn't take a lot of research to see why they want to move this away from New York City. They want to put smaller numbers of people in jeapardy. Us.

  • ncxphotos Aug 12, 2008

    to davidgnews
    I live near RTP and have plenty near me. But I would like to be prepared. I would put it in my house if I had the room.

  • baileysmom3 Aug 12, 2008

    my parents are residents in this area and i think this lab is a big concern for waters in falls lake as well as surrounding communities. I agree there is probably not a safe place anywhere for such a thing. Maybe in Texas, but NIMBY

  • davidgnews Aug 12, 2008

    What I don't like is the state giving the property away for $1. THATS Rediculous, but they'll charge us for a toll road, 540. Unbelievable. Jimm57

    Got that right - it's YOUR tax money being devalued by people who could not care less other than their 'rewards' that no one hears about.

  • Jimm57 Aug 12, 2008

    Bring it over to Apex/Holly Springs! We'd love it and the jobs it'll bring. It's better than the Dump in Holly Springs anyday.

    What I don't like is the state giving the property away for $1. THATS Rediculous, but they'll charge us for a toll road, 540. Unbelievable.

  • Ol Forrester Aug 12, 2008


  • davidgnews Aug 12, 2008

    ncxphotos - how about putting right next to where you live and see how you like it? Why haven't you volunteered such a bold suggestion, yourself?