Illinois congressmen, including U.S. Sens. Dirk Durbin and Mark Kirk, wrote a letter to National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo this week lobbying him to select a St. Clair County site as the location for the agency’s new $1.6 billion campus.
A 182-acre site in St. Clair County has been proposed in support of the bid for the facility. The site is adjacent to Scott Air Force Base.
“The advantages of St. Clair County are clear,” Kirk said in a statement to Ward Room. “ It is the only site that offers the protection of a military base and is free of charge to the taxpayers.”
A Kirk aide told Ward Room the effort could "bring our nation’s premier intelligence agency- and 3,000 new jobs- to Southern Illinois.”
The entire Illinois U.S. Congressional delegation signed a letter urging Cardillo to choose St. Clair as the new site for NGA West.
Cardillo met with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost in his Capitol Hill office Wednesday. U.S. Rep. John Shimkus was also in attendance with representatives from the offices of US Rep. Rodney Davis and Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Cardillo explained that he expects to make a decision on the matter before March 31, with the final decision coming 60 days after that.
The agency is currently located in nearby St. Louis and housed in the 180-year-old St. Louis Arsenal which would be "too expensive to modernize."
Aside from St. Clair, two sites in St. Louis County and one site in North St. Louis have been proposed.