Stephan Kiefer: Make lab a co-op

April 13, 2014 

Here’s a serious thought in response to the feds wanting to close the ocean research site in Beaufort. I’ll leave the details to the professionals but paint the broad outline.

Rather than an involved and probably fruitless struggle against this tide, interested players craft a boat to take advantage of it: Our elected officials arrange a site purchase from the government, saving taxpayer money and offer cash along with the relief from future expenses.

This effort transforms the site into a co-op or an employee-owned company. Then sell shares to interested residents for $10 per (I’ll pledge $1,000 right now if this goes). Merge this with the efforts of Gov. Pat McCrory’s public/private enterprise efforts and solicit private donations. Who? The big universities (even ECU), big companies that buy and sell fish, Duke Power, Red Hat, Bank of America, the Hurricanes and the Panthers and on and on.

This site could be a freestanding resource to benefit all of us. Taxpayers are off the hook. If they don’t want to join, fine. It’s voluntary. I do ask The N&O to do the invites and host a meeting to finalize this, please. Now, the C-130s ...

Stephan Kiefer


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