Kansas votes to welcome National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

The Manhattan City Commission in Manhattan, Kansas, has voted unanimously to welcome the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to the city despite the protestations of community members.

The new facility, the Kansas State Collegian reports, will be built in line with the Manhattan Urban Area Subdivision Regulations. Community members, however, voiced concerns about the facility being built so close to homes and schools.

Among the complaints heard at commission meeting held last week were those concerning the health and safety of the city.

The National Academy of Sciences is expected to deliver a safety report on the facility in the future, which some citizens said should be read before the facility is allowed.

Citizens also stated fears that housing and home insurance prices for residences near the facility would rise.

“After what happened with BP, I can understand America’s angst with the facility,” Commissioner Bob Strawn told the Kansas State Collegian. “This is an risky enterprise, but I believe the risks can be managed through redundancies and expertise.

“I’m not disrespecting anyone who doesn’t support NBAF, but most K-State faculty and community members I’ve spoken to support NBAF coming here. I believe it’s the right thing to do for Manhattan, that’s why I’m comfortable with this motion.”

Construction on the facility is slated to begin this year with an operational date of 2015.