Council approves annexation of ABC Labs property

Monday, April 21, 2008 | 10:36 p.m. CDT; updated 2:39 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve the voluntary annexation of the Interstate 70 right of way and some property on the north side of I-70 east of Columbia, commonly known as the ABC Labs property.

City Manager Bill Watkins said in his report that the annexation would help the city reach other adjacent properties on the outskirts of the city.

“It’s important that this property be brought into the city as we work with the school district to extend sanitary sewers to the new high school site,” Watkins said. “(The annexation) would also provide sewers to the Lake of the Woods Golf Course.”

In the public hearing, the council heard a brief presentation by Scott Orr, ABC Labs’ vice president, about the company’s purpose. Orr assured the council that his company was certified to handle hazardous chemicals, including carbon-14, which is radioactive.

Robin Remington, a resident of the East Campus neighborhood, was the only citizen who addressed the council.

“The territory involved does not affect me directly, but I have continuous invasive concern with the issue of biochemical materials in Columbia, Mo., and the safety of those materials,” Remington said.

She asked whether ABC Labs’ chemicals would in any way affect Columbia’s groundwater.

Orr assured her that chemicals at ABC Labs don’t “go down the sinks” but instead are disposed of by licensed handlers.

Jerry Wade, Fourth Ward councilman, asked if there would be any startup costs involved with the lab for which the city would be responsible. Watkins said he anticipated no major costs.

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