The process to find a new site for a Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy is moving forward, according to the Leavenworth city manager.

The process to find a new site for a Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy is moving forward, according to the Leavenworth city manager.

The facility, which employs more than 200 people, currently is located in the city of Leavenworth, and two locations in the city are under consideration. But the facility could move to a neighboring county.

Officials with the city of Leavenworth have expressed frustration with the site selection process.

"We weren't happy they changed the rules at the last minute," Leavenworth City Manager Paul Kramer said.

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

In December, it was announced that federal officials wanted to only look at sites with existing 100,000 square-foot buildings.

This change in the criteria eliminates the possibility of a CMOP facility being constructed at the city of Leavenworth's new business and technology park.

The current CMOP facility is located at 13th Street and Eisenhower Road in Leavenworth. The facility prepares and ships prescription medications to patients of the VA health care system.

Federal officials are looking for a larger site. However, the existing location has been submitted as a possible location for the new CMOP facility.

Kramer said the proposal for using the existing site includes an addition to the building.

The First City Center in Leavenworth also has been submitted for consideration.

The First City Center, 3450 S. Fourth St., is located at what formerly was a Wal-Mart store.

If the CMOP moves from Leavenworth, "it will be a loss to the community," Leavenworth Mayor Mark Preisinger said Thursday during a meeting of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation.

Local officials have been in contact with the office of U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, regarding the CMOP selection process.

Kramer said he has been informed by representatives of Moran's office that a VA analysis indicates leasing a newly constructed building would not fit within spending caps.

Kramer said Moran's office has requested a copy of the analysis. And the city manager believes members of the senator's staff will scrutinize the analysis and may take additional steps.

The city manager also said he would like to have a copy of the analysis if possible. Kramer said he wants to see if this analysis specifically looked at Leavenworth or relied only on generic information.

Kramer noted that the city of Leavenworth already owns the land at the new business and technology park.

Kramer said he also has been informed that only existing buildings are being considered at this point because officials involved in the selection process now want to quickly move forward.

"We've been waiting on this for 2.5 years," Kramer said.

He blamed officials at the federal level for previous delays in the process.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR