Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin joined with St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern Monday to announce that the County is prepared to offer an additional 200 acres to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) for future expansion. The move comes as the county is competing with the city of St. Louis to host the agency and bring more than 3-thousand jobs to the Metro East.
Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan and representatives of local Congressmen Rodney Davis, Mike Bost and John Shimkus were also on hand during the announcement. Kern praised the support across the political aisle for the project and listed the advantages of building the site next to Scott Air Force Base. St. Clair County, which is the sole owner of the land, has already noted it is willing to provide the initially proposed 182-acre site at zero cost and to cover any archaeological costs that might be incurred. The city of St. Louis is proposing a 100-acre site that has the support of the Missouri governor and members of the St. Louis congressional delegation. The current home of the NGA is in downtown St. Louis. Two other sites in Fenton and Mehlville are also competing for the project, which is expected to be announced in March.