A crowd of current and former elected officials joined forces Thursday in St. Louis in an effort to convince the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to build its new $1.6 billion facility inside the city limits.
Gov. Jay Nixon, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, several state senators and representatives and former U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond were among the 300 or so people in attendance. The hearing focused on the new regional facility for the NGA, a federal outfit that handles mapping support for defense agencies.
The agency, which currently makes its home near the Anheuser-Busch brewery, is choosing between four sites in the St. Louis area. City officials say losing the would be a devastating blow to the St. Louis tax base.
Although a move to north St. Louis would displace about 200 residents, only a small percentage of the people in attendance at the hearing Thursday came from the affected area.