Veterans Home Stalled Again Due To Lack Of Funds
A veterans home for Beltrami County continues to be stalled due to lack of funding for its building and implementation. The proposed bonding bill from Governor Mark Dayton did not include funding that could be allocated to the home, much to the dismay of the Beltrami County Task Force.
While the governor’s bonding bill and a bill from senate republicans included $5 million for current veteran home preservation, there was no money allocated for any new homes.
Even since the home was proposed in 2008, the hold up has always been the lack of funds. But Joe Vene says there has been one change.
Support from representatives such as Matt bliss and Matt Grossel, who phoned into the meeting from capital hill. Bliss serves as Vice Chair for the Veterans Affairs Division. But there may be one way around the budget than just with the help of the representatives.
By raising some money by themselves, the veterans could build the home and then be reimbursed by federal and state funds for filling the beds.
The reimbursement money could be a consider sum for a building that would host 70 beds in a residential and assisted living care environment with access to therapy and other services. With an ever aging veterans population in the area, Joe Vene said that there is a “dire need” to build the home.
Tom Annonson says he sought out veteran affairs services in 2002 for an injury. Now living in his late mother’s trailer home, he says he may need the facility in the coming years.
If the task force was able to receive the money today, according to representatives, it would take three years to build and staff the home.
A group of the veterans at the meeting are organizing a trip to the capital to talk to legislators about the project. The group would leave from Bemidji on March 20th for the Veterans Day on the Hill event. More information on how to join the group will be available on the Beltrami County website for Veteran Services.