Illinois officials react to NGA recommendation for St. Louis

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) - Illinois officials learned Thursday that St. Louis is the preferred location for the future site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern said the NGA director expressed two primary concerns with the Illinois location.

Kern says he had a brief phone conversation with the NGA director Thursday. During the conversation Kern learned the NGA was concerned about losing employees if the site moved across the river. The other concern was building on green space in Illinois compared to the St. Louis site.

“The analysis seems a little counter-intuitive to us,” said Kern. “They say that because we have open space that is ready to build on...that it is less desirable than tearing down people’s homes.”

Kern also takes exception with concerns the Illinois site would cause employees to leave the NGA.

“I think that sells us short,” said Kern.

Kern said the Illinois delegation was a bi-partisan effort that will continue to make the case for NGA moving to Illinois. There will be an upcoming public comment period before a final decision is made. The final decision is expected in the next 30-60 days.

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