Neighbors of UNC’s Bingham Facility will meet with university officials Monday to discuss the latest plans for the animal holding center west of Carrboro.
The facility was in the news last year when UNC planned to add three buildings and expand from 85 dogs to up to 450 dogs and 150 hogs. After repeated leaks of treated wastewater, it shelved the plan and returned a $14.5 million federal grant when it determined it would need another $20 million to make the plan work.
Now UNC is rebuilding the facility’s wastewater treatment system. There are no plans to expand, the university says, but neighbors in the group Preserve Rural Orange are wary. The state last week granted their request for a public hearing on the university’s application to modify its permit, which calls for spreading treated wastewater over a larger area than before.
In an interview, Associate Vice Chancellor Bob Lowman emphasized that UNC is not expanding and that the facility's three buildings are probably all there will ever be, he said. There likely won’t ever be more than 85 dogs or any hogs permanently housed there, he said.
A building that was expected to house specially bred golden retrievers for a muscular dystrophy researcher who is now leaving the university will likely be used for mice, Lowman said.
Look for more on this story coming Sunday in The Chapel Hill News.