Archive for Thursday, April 21, 2011

County protests decision to move EPA offices

April 21, 2011

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., will formally protest the General Services Administration decision to move the Environmental Protection Agency Regional Headquarters out of downtown Kansas City, Kan., to Lenexa, Mayor Joe Reardon recently announced.

“This move to abandon the urban core lacks all common sense and flies in the face of good public policy. It is an example of the federal government at its worst,” Reardon said. “The possibility of the EPA moving their offices from their current location would be devastating to our downtown.”

The Unified Government has made several attempts to work with both parties since becoming aware of issues surrounding the EPA’s attempts to renegotiate a new lease with its New York based landlord UrbanAmerica Advisors LLC. The GSA has not been forthcoming with any information on why it feels the need to make this move, county officials say.

About 550 federal government employees and 122 private employees work at Region VII headquarters. The current facility, at 901 N. Fifth St., was built in 1999 specifically for longtime use as its regional headquarters. The structure has received numerous accolades for its award-winning design and energy efficiency attributes.

County officials say the EPA building helped bring some positive changes to the downtown area, including construction of a new hotel and brand new energy efficient housing units all located within a block of the EPA.

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