COLUMBIA, Mo. - An amended environmental review of the future site of an American Outdoor Brands warehouse and distribution center indicates the company plans to expand slightly.
Boone County commissioners approved a 50 percent tax break for AOB to build off Route Z and St. Charles Road just a few months ago. On Tuesday, Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission executive director Ed Siegmund presented the environmental review for 22 extra acres on the site to commissioners.
He said that the company changed the configuration of its site plan and wanted to acquire new property, so it had to do more reviewing on the extra acreage's environmental impact.
"Before we can use any public funds associated with this project, this has to be done," Siegmund said.
The review is a requirement of the federal Community Development Block Grant that the county applied for on behalf of the company. Commissioner Fred Parry said back in April that the company planned to make improvements to Route Z which included a new turn lane and extending Clark Lane to the east in order to have AOB put its driveway on Clark Lane instead of having an access point on Route Z. The awarded grant totaled almost $2 million.
"The company cannot use it for their own benefit but it has to be used for the public good," said Parry at the time. "So those funds are being used to improve Route Z, which should offset any negative impact building a facility of this size out here might have."
A map included with the summary of the environmental review indicates that the expansion will happen on the northeast part of the property.
According to David Bock, community and economic development planner with MMRPC, the environmental review consisted of notifying all appropriate state and federal agencies and Native American tribes about the additional acreage because the addition could have "resulted in an impact to the original determination regarding historic properties, wetlands, endangered species and farmland protection."
Bock said all the responses indicated there would be no environmental concerns for the addition of the land. Two Native American tribes did not respond.
Construction on the new distribution center is expected to begin next spring.