There is a chance a Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy facility could remain in Leavenworth County after all.

There is a chance a Department of Veterans Affairs Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy facility could remain in Leavenworth County after all.

In December, Steve Jack, executive director of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, learned federal officials were looking for sites with 100,000 square-foot buildings to relocate a CMOP facility that currently is in the city of Leavenworth.

At the time, Jack said this effectively put Leavenworth County out of the running for the CMOP facility because such a site was not available in the county.

But Jack has since learned the owners of the First City Center in Leavenworth have submitted that building as a possible location for the new home of the CMOP facility.

Jack provided an update about the project Wednesday during a meeting of the Leavenworth County Port Authority Board of Directors. LCDC is a partner agency of the Port Authority.

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

According to Jack, the local CMOP facility employs more than 200 people.

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

Jack said federal officials initially were looking to lease an existing building or for a location where a building could be constructed to suit the CMOP's needs. But he learned in December the criteria had changed.

The First City Center is located at 3450 S. Fourth St. The building previously served as a Wal-Mart store.

Jack said the First City Center has a total 122,000 square feet. But much of the building is occupied. He said only about 35,000 square feet is currently available.

If the First City Center is selected for the CMOP facility, at least one of the current tenants would have to be relocated.

Also Wednesday, Port Authority Chairman Blaine Weeks discussed developments from a County Commission meeting that took place a day earlier.

Members of the County Commission suggested cities in the county could be invited to share in funding the Port Authority. Currently, the county is the only local government that provides funding to the Port Authority each year.

Weeks suggested Wednesday that a small group could be formed to work on the issue. He said the group would include representatives of cities in the county.

Dan Gutshall also briefed those in attendance about a committee he will be leading. He said the group will be researching the feasibility of a program to attract investors for the construction of industrial speculative, or spec, buildings in Leavenworth County.

"We'll roll up our sleeves and see what we put together," he said.

Gutshall hopes to have something for the Port Authority to consider by the summer.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR