Mayor Vows to Fight to Keep Vets Home in Grand Island

Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek

The new Central Nebraska Veterans Home is expected to open in Kearney in 2018, but not if Grand Island has anything to do with it.

Governor Dave Heineman made the announcement Friday, and while the Kearney community celebrates, Grand Island officials, including Mayor Jay Vavricek, have shown disappointment upon learning the vets home will be uprooted from its community.

"We can't really think through it right now, but same token and what's best for veterans and not uprooting those individuals with the services we have in place right here, knowing that a brand new facility could be built next door and ground that the state already owns," Mayor Jay Vavricek said. "The state already accepted 126 years ago to be the site of a veterans facility. Some things just don't add up."

The governor says it wasn't an easy decision to make, however, Kearney prevailed, beating out Hastings, Grand Island and North Platte.

Grand Island's Home for Our Heroes Committee says they will continue to fight for the retention of the vets home, bringing the battle to the Legislature.