- The chief executive officer said primates would weigh 5 to 7 pounds and produce little waste.
- The leader also said the project is scaled to bring in a couple thousand primates for the first three years and will not see growth to capacity of 30,000 primates until 15 to 20 years into the project.
- Watch the video above to see where the project stands now.
BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT :
The plan to bring thousands of monkeys to South Georgia is not done yet.
"We were disappointed in the vote,” said Jim Harkness, chief executive officer, Safer Human Medicine.
It's a project I've been tracking for weeks. Now, I'm taking these neighbors' concerns directly to the people behind the plan.
"We actually fell in love with Bainbridge,” Harkness.
Harkness tells me Bainbridge was at the top of the list of locations all thanks to the warmer climate, workforce and the quick access to food to feed primates.
Yet, neighbors made it clear during a recent Decatur County Commissioners meeting they don't support the idea of primates being bred here.
"All the tax breaks… the land.. The clearing of the land.. What do they owe us,” said Linda Miller, a Bainbridge resident.
People like Linda Miller who would live near the potential primate facility site have voiced strong concerns.
Environmentalist Gordan Rogers, leader of Flint Riverkeeper is concerned about the project's potential impact on water quality.
"What happens when the power goes out for three to four weeks like it can do here in the south? It happened relatively recently with hurricane Michael,” said Rogers.
Harkness and other members from Safer Human Medicine are in town this week.
They're offering answers to neighbors who are willing to listen.
"There's been a lot of misinformation that's been put out,” said Harkness. “ If I was a part of the community and I didn't have an understanding of nonhuman primates I would have some of the same legitimate concerns."
I sat down with Harkness to unpack some of those big concerns.. One being how the project would impact the city's infrastructure.
He told me the infrastructure for the plan is already in place as a part of the deal and structure of the industrial park.
He said the primates would weigh 5 to 7 pounds and produce little waste
The project is scaled to bring in a couple thousand primates for the first three years and will not see growth to capacity of 30,000 primates until 15 to 20 years into the project.
"Really what we're here to do is to give people the information so they can make an educated decision,” said Harkness.
Neighbors are invited to the next county commissioner meeting held February 13 at 9 a.m.