St. Louis City, St. Clair Co. make push for new NGA facility - KMOV.com

St. Louis City, St. Clair Co. make push for new NGA facility

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The proposed site for a new National Geospatial Agency location. The proposed site for a new National Geospatial Agency location.

(KMOV.com) – Both St. Clair County and St. Louis City are trying to persuade the federal government to place its new facility for the National Geospatial Agency (NGA) within their jurisdictions.

The NGA has outgrown its current facility on Soulard. The agency has narrowed down its choice for a new home between north St. Louis and land next to Scott Air Force Base.  

“This isn’t about arm twisting it is going to be about convincing the NGA, federal government, Department of Defense that our site is the best site for employees of the organization and fulfilling its mission,” said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.

Slay also said the city can provide cultural and entertainment attractions, along with access to local universities.

“The city is closer to the NGA’s employees on the Missouri side of the river. It’s also in close proximity to a knowledgeable and educated work force of the future that they’re going to look to recruit from,” Slay said.

The city is offering land in an area with high poverty, a place the government has promised to improve. Some homes and businesses will have to be torn down to make room for the NGA. St. Clair County officials say the land they are offering is almost ready to go. The NGA wants construction to start in January, 2017.

“That means the site has to be ready to go, clean of environmental artifacts. We can do that is three of four months. They can start construction this year as opposed to next year,” said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern.

Kern says Scott Air Force Base is the best location for the NGA.

“This really isn’t about the region. The NGA protects the entire half of the US through their facility that’s located on Arsenal. What we’re saying is that if the NGA is going to continue to have that mission and grow the mission to meet the needs of the US, Scott Air Force Base is the site for that,” Kern said.

NGA is expected to make a decision in March.

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