Sen. Mark Kirk said it best, “The NGA is not an urban renewal program!” Yet that is exactly what a group of Missouri political leaders and an insignificant group of St. Clair County wannabes want you to believe about a north St. Louis and an East St. Louis riverfront option to the Scott Air Force Base location for the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. We lost the Rams; it will revitalize a depressed area. Those programs have never worked, and never will. These sites have little to offer other than dilapidated streets, sewers, water systems, inadequate schools and housing, and a lack of secure facilities.
Every reason that the alternate sites provide is just more proof that the proposed Scott AFB site is the best suited for the high-tech spy agency for the present and for years into the future. The Scott AFB site is shovel-ready, encumbrance free, no eminent domain costs, state of the art infrastructure, and no protestors fighting the NSL site! Furthermore, the Illinois site provides stable and affordable housing options, excellent educational choices, crime-free communities, and newly upgraded transportation. The Scott AFB site offers a secure location with the ability to limit access that the other options simply cannot offer without disruption in current traffic flows. I know which site the employees would pick!
The Illinois site at Scott AFB is a no-brainer, for the county, the region, the country.
Joseph N. English, Belleville