Gov. Dave Heineman Friday announced that Kearney would be the location for the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home. The new facility will replace the 125-year-old veterans home in Grand Island.
"This was not an easy decision," said Gov. Heineman. "We have four outstanding communities who submitted outstanding proposals. The proposals were financially stronger and better than we anticipated. I appreciate that each community focused on their strengths and what was best for veterans."
The four cities submitting proposals included Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney and North Platte.
The Site Selection Committee recommended Kearney because of several things they included in their proposal, such as: the financial proposal, the workforce development plan; and subsidized electrical, water and sewer rates and refuse discounts.
Additional aspects of Kearney's proposal includes: no cost equipment such as compactors; the infrastructure and environmental proposals; the physical site; and several program enhancements which include the woodshop, kiln, library, chapel, landscaping, a veterans memorial, and transportation.
John Hilgert, director of the Division of Veterans Homes and Veterans Affairs, says Kearney's application simply rated the highest of four "quality" applications. He said, "Their application was comprehensive and responsive to all categories listed in the Request for Statement of Interest and Offer."
Each proposal was evaluated based on a 1200 point model covering nine categories. Those categories include physical factors, utilities and infrastructure, cultural factors, environmental factors, community services, regulatory factors, workforce factors, community support factors and program enhancements.
Kearney received a score of 1033, Hastings 977, Grand Island 889 and North Platte 855. Go to www.cnvh.nebraska.gov to see how each city scored.
In the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home, the resident rooms will be distributed among five services – Long-Term Care, Medically Complex, Dementia, Hospice, and Assisted Living in households of 12-15 members.
The cost of the budgeted project is $121 million with an approximate cost of $102 million for the facility. Over 350 fulltime positions are expected to be created for this facility.
The new veterans home will be located at 56th Street and Cherry Avenue, the former home of the barracks for the Kearney Army Air Base from 1942-1949. The 75-acre site sits about half-a-mile east of the city owned vacant data park.