KCK Mayor Reardon asks White House to investigate GSA decision to move to Lenexa
6:16 PM, Apr 15, 2011
6:42 PM, Apr 15, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Kansas - Kansas City, Kansas leaders want a White House investigation to try to keep one of its downtown's biggest employers from leaving for the suburbs.
The Environmental Protection Agency is supposed to move out of a building at Fifth and Minnesota in downtown Kansas City, Kansas
But now, two lines of attack have been launched to try to stop the move from happening.
The mayor and the building's owners are both questioning the rental rates, the environmental impact, and the bidding process itself.
KCK Mayor Joe Reardon is asking the White House to investigate the decision to move the EPA's regional headquarters from downtown to Lenexa.
"We've already been in contact with liaisons in the White House. We know that they are looking at the letter and considering it now. We also know that they intend to be responsive to our request, from what they've told us," said Reardon.
KCK's investigation request outlines several reasons why local officials believe the feds violated their own guidelines by picking the suburban location.
The city questions what it calls apparent irregularities in the bidding process.
"Let's get the facts out. Let's see what the facts are around this," said Reardon.
A second attempt to stop the move is also underway.
The building's owners, Urban America, have filed a formal protest with the General Services Administration, the agency that handles federal facilities.
The protest also hopes to force a review of the new lease agreement.
A local GSA spokesman, Charlie Cook, said either action could lead the GSA to cancel the new lease, or cause the agency to take corrective actions while still moving the EPA.
KCK's mayor hopes pressure from the White House stops the move in its tracks.
Right now some of the documents have been sealed while under review by a federal legal team.
Local officials are upset that they haven't seen more information from the government about why the decision to move was actually made.
Either the protest or the investigation could force the government to release more of that information.
But it might not stop the actual move, and KCK would still lose 600 workers to the suburbs.