Kearney Offers Bid to Get Veterans Home
Grand Island is presumed to be the favorite to land the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home due to the fact that that's where the current one is.
But other Central Nebraska cities are not letting that stop them from pitching their bids to pull the home in.
Kearney is one of the cities throwing a hat into the ring.
For Kearney it started with various veterans groups reaching out to Kearney for them to place a bid because the Grand Island facilities are less-than-satisfactory.
"It's atrocious and as a veteran I'm appalled," said Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman.
"There's absolutely no question that we need to replace the veterans home," said state Senator Annette Dubas, who represents the 34 district.
With local veteran groups speaking out about the poor condition the current facility is in, Kearney was an outlet for them to turn to.
"Local veteran groups asked us if Kearney would be willing and able to submit a proposal if they were given the opportunity. So we followed up and talking with state officials, that if it came to that point that Kearney would be looked at if a viable proposal was submitted," said Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse.
Clouse also says this competition in the end will be good for what this whole process is about -- the veterans.
"There were some viable options that could be in the best interest of the tax payers in the state and certainly in the best interest of our veterans," said Clouse.
But this offer comes with some push back.
"Of course I'm going to advocate very aggressively to keep it in Grand Island. I think Grand Island has been a good home for the veterans," said Dubas.
Clouse says the city has their eye on two properties if Kearney is chosen.
The final offers must be submitted by mid-June.
Some requirements listed for potential suitors include:
- A 225 bed home, single story.
- The site must be greater than a two hour measured driving distance from the Norfolk, Western and Eastern Nebraska Veterans Homes; and within a two hour measured driving distance of the existing Grand Island Veterans Home.
- Must be an at least 45 acre site.
- Ready for development and a qualified area labor force.