ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A bill that would allow St. Louis City to use eminent domain to create room for a new headquarters for the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) in north St. Louis is moving forward.
Under the plan, land would be bought up and homes would be demolished in part of the city’s third and fifth ward to make the site attractive to the NGA. The federal agency is currently headquartered in Soulard but is considering moving to Fenton, Mehlville, St. Clair County, or north St. Louis.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said it is essential that the agency stay in the city so it’s earning tax revenue can be collected. Many aldermen agree but are unsure if eminent domain should be used if there is no guarantee NGA will move to the north St. Louis site.
Some aldermen said they will support a proposal to buy up the land, as long the Board of Aldermen votes on whether to use eminent domain on each individual property.
The city’s legislative body voted on an amendment to the plan Friday, allowing it to go forward. The bill approving the plan for eminent domain still must be voted on in its final form. Many residents have said they do not want to give up their homes.