NGA plans to build new site in North City, keeping 3,000 jobs in - KMOV.com

NGA plans to build new site in North City, keeping 3,000 jobs in St. Louis

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The current NGA facility. (Credit: KMOV) The current NGA facility. (Credit: KMOV)
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency recommended north St. Louis as the site of their new facility, according to the Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Officials with the NGA previously said they were deciding between north St. Louis and St. Clair County, Illinois as the new home for the agency.

The agency’s south St. Louis office currently employs more than 3,000 workers. St. Louis City officials offered land in an area with high poverty, a place the government promised to improve. Some homes and businesses would have to be torn down to make room for the NGA.

“After careful consideration of all of the available information, I have determined that the St.Louis City site is the agency’s preferred alternative,” said Robert Cardillo, NGA director, in a news release Thursday evening.

St. Clair County officials said the land they offered was almost ready to go. The officials previously pledged $115 million for transportation improvements and agreed to donate 182-square acres of land along the northeast boundary of Scott Air Force for the relation project. St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern said he is disappointed with the decision. 

Click here to read the report released by the NGA regarding the decision

The NGA wants construction to start on the $1.6 billion facility in January, 2017.The NGA’s current home is near the Tannhauser-Busch brewery south of downtown St. Louis. 

“The St. Louis City site provides NGA with the most technological, academic and professional environment for this agency to develop the capabilities and solutions necessary to solve the hardest intelligence and national security problems entrusted to us by the American people,” said Cardillo.

This is not a final decision, but only a recommendation. A comment period begins April 1 and ends April 16 to allow for additional public input before the signing of the final Record of Decision. The Record of Decision is expected to be complete by early June 2016.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon released the following statement Thursday: 

“This is a great day for St. Louis and a shining example of what is possible when Missourians work together across regional and party lines for the good of their communities. The NGA’s decision is a testament to the city’s innovative workforce and infrastructure, and the tireless leadership of Mayor Slay, our entire congressional delegation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the many other business and civic leaders who were involved in this effort.  I also want to thank members of the Missouri General Assembly for passing legislation last year to support the development of the north St. Louis site and pave the way for this transformational investment in the region’s future.”

According to their website, “The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) delivers world-class geospatial-intelligence that provides a decisive advantage to policymakers, warfighters, intelligence professionals and first responders.”

Using high powered spa satellites, video and cutting edge technology, NGA workers produce maps, 3D video of battle zones and disaster-zones.

Before a solider in Iraq or Afghanistan goes on patrol or on a mission, the NGA plans it out by studying maps and images produced at a facility in Soulard, south of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. 

In the U.S., the NGA assists in relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina or wildfires in California. The NGA also assists with security preparations at major political and sporting events.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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