Battle brews over Plum Island's future following government sale

The 840-acre island is currently home to a federal animal disease research lab which employs 400 people. More than 600 acres of land remain untouched.

The 840-acre island is currently home to a federal animal disease research lab which employees 400 people. More than 600 acres of land remain untouched.

The 840-acre island is currently home to a federal animal disease research lab which employees 400 people. More than 600 acres of land remain untouched. (5/23/13)

PLUM ISLAND - A battle is brewing over the future of Plum Island.

The 840-acre island is currently home to a federal animal disease research lab which employs 400 people. More than 600 acres of land remain untouched.

The government plans to sell Plum Island as part of a deal to build a new lab in Kansas. Now, environmentalists are worried that developers will go after the land.

Real estate broker Alan Schnurman says some construction would be good for taxpayers. But the town says it doesn’t think they'd stand to gain any tax revenue from the land, even if it’s developed.

The town also plans to zone a big part of the island as parkland next month.

The General Services Administration, which controls the sale of Plum Island, did not return calls for comment.

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