Members of Leavenworth County Development Corporation Board of Directors were encouraged Thursday to keep up political pressure in an effort to keep a Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy facility in the county.

Members of Leavenworth County Development Corporation Board of Directors were encouraged Thursday to keep up political pressure in an effort to keep a Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy facility in the county.

The issue came up Thursday during a meeting of the LCDC Board of Directors.

An existing CMOP facility is located at the Gary Carlson Business Park at 13th Street and Eisenhower Road in Leavenworth. The facility prepares and ships prescription medications to patients of the VA health care system.

According to LCDC Executive Director Steve Jack, the facility employs more than 200 people.

The federal government is looking for a new regional site for the CMOP facility.

The LCDC has been involved for several years in efforts to offer possible locations for relocating the CMOP facility within Leavenworth County.

Earlier in the process, federal officials were looking to lease an existing building or for a location where a building could be constructed to suit the CMOP's needs.

In December, Jack learned federal officials only wanted to look at sites with existing 100,000 square-foot buildings.

The First City Center in Leavenworth has been submitted as a possible location for the new home of the CMOP facility.

Jack said it looks like this may be Leavenworth County's only shot if federal officials are looking only for existing buildings.

Officials involved in the site selection process toured the First City Center last month.

Jack was told by an owner of the building that the tour did not start out strong but improved as it progressed.

Mike Reilly, a local businessman who serves on the LCDC board, said he had talked with the same owner of the First City Center. The owner indicated he is not comfortable with Leavenworth County's positioning in the process, and it was suggested that local officials put pressure on federal legislators to expand the selection process to again include sites where a new building can be constructed.

Jack said he previously had reached out to the offices of U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, both of Kansas, regarding this issue.

But Jack said the answers he received were not encouraging. He blamed this on the fact that the state of Kansas will still keep the CMOP facility even if it does not remain in Leavenworth County.

If a site in Leavenworth County is not selected, the facility will be relocated to Wyandotte County or Johnson County.

County Commission Chairman Louis Klemp asked Jack to provide a letter that commissioners can send to federal lawmakers.

“We'll refine it,” Klemp said of the letter.

Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer said he and Jack previously spoke with someone from Roberts' office.

“We can check in again,” he said.

Leavenworth City Commissioner Mike Griswold asked what is wrong with the existing location in Leavenworth.

“It's too small,” Jack said.

He said CMOP has new equipment that requires a different configuration.

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