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Butner Being Considered for Research Lab

Posted May 16, 2007

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— The quiet community of Butner has caught the eye of the federal government. Some think the Granville County town's proximity to top universities, RDU International and Research Triangle Park make it the perfect location for a high-level research lab.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility would sit on the Umstead Research Farm area. Scientists would study deadly diseases like ebola and anthrax.

"Anytime you have a situation with lethal agents, there are issues and questions about how it's handled and how it's transported through our area," said Jim Warren, of the watchdog group N.C. Warn.

Critics have argued this type of research lab would require the highest level of security, but proponents said they have already got enough safeguards in place.

"We have a very high-end police and public safety department here," said county commissioner Ron Alligood. "We have the National Guard training facility here. We've got military personnel and law enforcement in and out every week from everywhere."

Alligood said he is not worried about securing the $450 million research lab. Butner, a state-run town, is already home to 16 state and federal institutions.

"We look at it more or less as another institution with jobs. These are high-end jobs,"  he said.

The lab could provide 500 new jobs and generate $6 billion into the economy over the next 20 years. Butner is one of 17 sites being considered. Officials are expected to come up with a short list in June and they are not expected to pick a site until 2008.

12 Comments

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  • Steve Crisp May 17, 2007

    I am actually glad that they are considering Butner for this facility. As to the security issues involved, the more places you have that are critical security, the better off you are as a whole. I hae always though of central and eastern NC as extremely safe because of Pope AFB and Ft. Bragg. With alot of our nuclear war facilities located here, the whole area becomes a hardened target. It's much easier for a terrorist to hit a mall in Richmond that it is to infiltrate a hardened facility.

    And accidental release is really of little concern except for smallpox. The rest of the diseases they work on are either treatable (like anthrax) or self limiting (like ebola.) And if smallpox got out, it really wouldn't matter in the long run whether the breech was here or on Long Island or Atlanta. It would eventually affect most of the known world. We would just get hit sooner. And remember, general wind flow out of Butner is away from Raleigh.

  • themoonlodge May 17, 2007

    Isn't anyone on here worried about having antrhax, etc. being studied and transported through this highly populated area (the Triangle). I don't care if you call us an urban area or small town U.S.A. I don't want to be anywhere near a potential target for every whackjob with an ax to grind.

  • salut2daking May 17, 2007

    Butner/Creedmoor are actually suburbs of Durham but they are located in Granville County which Oxford is the county seat. Southern Granville County is a suburb of Durham actually.

  • ralwood May 16, 2007

    hey didnt you know that creedmore/butner is part of the triangle?? its just a suburb of raleighwood keep it simple about that education part doesnt make any sense at all.

  • NC4EVER May 16, 2007

    I am from a small town too, Castalia which is smaller than Butner or Creedmoor. Castalia does not have a stoplight but we have a yellow flasher and people still wave when you pass by whether you know them or not. So lighten up and have some laughs.

  • salut2daking May 16, 2007

    Why do people still believe that small town people are dumb and stupid? The ones that think that are the ignorant ones. Butner and Creedmoor are very nice towns to live in. It is in a very good location and a good location to raise children. It is not far from Raleigh or Durham. Grow up people. I live in Raleigh by the way.

  • NC4EVER May 16, 2007

    Thanks Sidekick, glad to see someone else has a sense of humor!

  • Sidekick May 16, 2007

    This would be a great project for the Dix campus. I wonder if that has been considered.

    NC4EVER - thank you so much for saving us from ourselves. A Creedmore bubba is worth 50 Chapel Hill liberals.

  • DELL3915 May 16, 2007

    I also live in Creedmoor and it is because we don't want the type of people who have posted to this in our "fine" community that I would not want this facility. We have more class than to refer to "bubba's" of a community. Incidently I also have a Masters in Business and consider myself "educated".

  • PlanetX May 16, 2007

    I live in Creedmoor and believe me, there are plenty of capable intelligent people living there. We're tired of commuting every day to those "educated" places - I say BRING IT ON!! =)

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