South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Comment period to end for new NGA site

Stenger supporting location for agency in north St. Louis

Residents have a few more days to give their opinion on whether a key federal agency should relocate its western headquarters to south county, Fenton, north city or Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

A public comment period on where the Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA, should build its new $1.6 billion western headquarters, NGA West, will end Monday, Nov. 23.

Those who want to submit comments can fill out a form at, download a form from the website and mail it or email

Although south county and Fenton are still in the running for the relocation, County Executive Steve Stenger appeared alongside Gov. Jay Nixon, U.S. Rep. William “Lacy” Clay, D-St. Louis, and Mayor Francis Slay Oct. 29 to advocate for the north city site.

“Working closely with local elected officials and community leaders, we have coalesced around the north St. Louis site and put together a proposal that meets all of NGA’s criteria,” Nixon said. “Today, NGA has a unique opportunity to draw on the tremendous assets of this great city, while revitalizing a community with economic challenges. St. Louis has the land, the infrastructure, the amenities and the highly skilled workforce NGA needs to continue carrying out its vital mission.”

This week, St. Clair County, Ill., officials added 200 acres to the 400 acres in free land they already committed to donating to the NGA if its officials decide to go with the site by Scott Air Force Base. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., appeared alongside the officials and said his state welcomes the thousands of jobs the NGA would bring.

Unlike those sites, the south county site — at the MetLife Building on Tesson Ferry Road — and the former Chrysler plant site in Fenton have no prominent backers other than Rep. Cloria Brown, R-Lemay, who criticized Stenger for backing the city site and said the county needs the jobs.

An environmental impact study conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that a site in north city could reap the most benefits of any of the four sites, at least according to the criteria used for the federal study — socioeconomics, land use, hazardous materials, visual, health and safety, traffic and transportation, noise, cultural resources, biology, water quality and airspace.

Officials will make the decision in the months after public comment closes and conduct a more in-depth study on the final site before announcing it publicly in March 2016. Construction could start in 2017 and the new headquarters could open in 2021.

All four sites would have similar impacts in some key areas, the Army Corps concluded: Each site would see increased commuter and construction traffic, require utility upgrades, have no geological or paleontological impact, and any change to air quality or climate would be below regulatory thresholds.

A socioeconomic benefit at the south county site would be increased construction spending in the community, but the environmental statement noted that a negative impact would be a loss of revenue to the Mehlville School District, which currently receives more than $300,000 from the MetLife Building that would be razed to make way for the NGA, which wouldn’t pay any taxes.

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