Metro-East News

Public hearing set for Oct. 28 on proposed spy agency site near Scott AFB

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on behalf of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, plans to hold a public meeting Oct. 28 regarding the relocation of the NGA Western Headquarters.

The hearing is 4 to 7 p.m. at the Katy Cavins Community Center, 308 E. 5th St. in O’Fallon.

“Relocation of the NGA’s Western Headquarters to the site near Scott Air Force Base would be tremendous for O’Fallon, the St. Louis Metro East region, and the State of Illinois,” said Gary Graham, the O’Fallon mayor. “I encourage everyone to attend the public meeting and support the relocation of the NGA to the St. Louis Metro East.”

The Next NGA West project team has spent the last nine months studying the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of a proposed NGA location at each of four proposed sites, including a 182-acre site adjacent to Scott, a site in North St. Louis, and two others in St. Louis County.

The findings from this study, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, or DEIS, will be published Oct. 8, and will be presented at a series of public meetings starting the week of October 26. Community members may comment on the DEIS during these meetings. The public comment period for the DEIS will be open from Oct. 9 to Nov. 23.

The NGA started with six possible locations to replace its existing Western Headquarters in St. Louis. After initial reviews, two sites were dropped from contention.

The remaining contender, aside from the proposed Scott site, are:

▪  Fenton, at the site of the old Chrysler plant along Interstate 44

▪  Mehlville, at the site of the Metropolitan Life Insurance building on Tesson Ferry Road, betweem I-270 and Highway 141.

▪  North St. Louis, on the site of the old Pruitt-Igoe housing complex near Cass and Jefferson avenues.

The high-tech spy agency currently has its West headquarters south of downtown St. Louis near the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The agency, which employs 3,000 people at the St. Louis location, said in June 2014 that its current complex, which dates back to before the U.S. Civil War, was outdated and needed to be replaced. A secondary location in Arnold will not be relocated, according to officials.

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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