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Grand Island discusses new veterans home
Local government officials are showing strong support to retain the Nebraska Veterans Home in Grand Island. Last month the Governor said it was time for a new building. Now proposals are being put on the table.
The topic was the first item addressed in Tuesday morning's Hall County Board of Supervisors meeting.
A group of Hall County and city leaders have formed a task force. They plan come up with a proposal to keep the home in Grand Island and submit it to the Governor.
The Nebraska Veterans Home has been a pillar to thousands of veterans since the Civil War.
"We're not considering the fact that it could possibly go anywhere else," said Board of Supervisors chairwoman Pamela Lancaster.
Grand Island residents and Hall County donated the land for the home to be built in 1887.
Lancaster joined her colleagues in support of keeping the facility located at its birthplace.
"The biggest thing that we want to project to the public and to the governor is the fact that we as a community have always looked after veterans needs and we want to be able to retain that opportunity," said Lancaster.
Earlier in the year when Governor Heineman announced proposal plans, it was indicated there were options to build a new facility elsewhere.
The new building would be 330,000 square feet and renovation costs would amount to $120 million funds that would come from the state and federal government.
Hall County Veterans Service Officer Don Shuda calls Grand Island a resting place for veterans and their families.
"It's easy access and members of the home to socialize in the club visit with their fellow community members go to the veterans park and remember and honor those who have given us the place we live today," Veterans Service Officer Don Shuda said.
There is a task force in Grand Island made up of members from the Economic Development Corporation, the Grand Island Chamber, and the county and the city.
"The governor will play a great role where this new veteran's home will be located so we're certainly going to do everything we can to make it irresistible for him to say that the veteran's home should stay in Grand Island," Lancaster said.
Specifics of the proposal are still being mapped out. And in the next couple of months the committee task force will submit their proposal.
It is then anticipated the Governor will make a decision on the site location by mid-summer.
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