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New tactic in trying to keep Rolla mapping office open


Washington, DC – There's a new tactic being tried by Missouri lawmakers to stop the federal government from closing its mapping center in Rolla.

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Cape Girardeau) has included language in the U.S. Interior Department's 2007 budget bill that requires the agency to spend $13 million dollars to keep open the Rolla office. The U.S. Geological Survey opend its office there in 1921.

Emerson's legislation, and the budget bill, passed the House last month, but it's uncertain whether the Senate will adopt the same language later this year.

Emerson says she's trying to save nearly 200 jobs in her southeast Missouri district.

The Interior Department decided last year to consolidate mapping operations in Denver. But Emerson claims officials ignored evidence showing Rolla as the best location for the merged operations. The Bush administration says Emerson's language interferes with efforts to save money.