The logjam over federal funding for a state-of-the-art animal disease laboratory at Kansas State University is on the verge of breaking, according to Kansas Senator Pat Roberts.
The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) was left out of President Barack Obama’s budget proposal altogether last year. Manhattan was selected as the site for the $1.1 billion lab five years ago, and a total of $90 million has been appropriated so far for construction. But the Department of Homeland Security has balked at moving forward with construction until Congress commits to fully funding the project.
Sen. Pat Roberts thinks the department may now be ready to proceed with construction of the lab’s $40 million central utilities plant. He says he expects the Department of Homeland Security to announce plans to move forward with construction sometime this week.
The 45-acre Pittsburg site is on a hill a short distance east of the K-State football stadium. Ownership of the lab was recently transferred to the federal government.