Hall County Supervisors back grassroots proposal

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Updated: Tue, 08 Oct 2013 06:53:56 CST

From legal action to possible litigation, Grand Island continues to explore options that may help them to keep the Veterans Home in their city.

And now it's no longer just council, committee and board members that are coming up with ideas.

"The only way Grand Island and Hall County have any opportunity to the site selection group's decision to move the home to Kearney is to have this entire community show total support and unquestionable support of the Grand Island Veterans Home administration and staff," said Fritz Anderson, a Grand Island resident, to the Hall County Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

And who did Mr. Anderson point his finger at as showing a lack of support for the Home Administration?  The man whose been at the forefront of the controversy all along.

"If this decision was made because of Don Shuda, there's some really, really small minded people in Lincoln," said Hall County Supervisor Gary Quandt.

Anderson asked that Don Shuda, the Hall County Veterans Affairs Officer, send a letter of apology to Alex Willford and the home administration.

But rather than a letter to the administration, the Hall County Board of Supervisors chose to focus their efforts on another letter-- read by Don Shuda himself-- calling for the home to remain in Grand Island.

"This proposal serves the best interest of Nebraska Veterans, state taxpayers and reduces the cost to state and federal funding in an amount that exceeds 60 million dollars," read Don Shuda, on behalf of the proposal writers.

The proposal was written by 3 Hall County veterans with the help of Grand Island and Hall County leaders.  Instead of focusing on the committee selection or tensions with administrators, the proposal focused on dollars.

"A 20 to 40% savings can be had through a process of retaining, retrofitting, and replacing buildings at the present location," Hall County Supervisor Pam Lancaster spelled out.

After Tuesday's meeting, the next step is in Washington's hands.  The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to send the grassroots proposal to the Attorney General.

Also at Tuesday morning's meeting, the Board of Supervisors received a letter of response from Governor Heineman on the recent sign fiasco.

The governor said the company responsible for the nearly $70,000 mistake took responsibility for the mix-up.