Bemidji Veterans Home unfunded by feds

None of Minnesota’s proposed new Veterans Homes projects in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston will receive federal funding this year.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs was notified that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ranked Minnesota’s proposed projects are ranked 39th, 40th and 41st on the Fiscal Year 2020 Grants Priority List Group 1.

The state’s veterans homes projects were seeking $79 million in federal funding.

The total value of Priority Group 1 on the list is $512.6 million.

“While we are disappointed that none of our new homes’ projects secured critical federal support in this funding cycle, we recognize that Minnesota is competing with other states’ projects for the same pool of federal money,” said MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke. “We remain committed to these projects and will continue to pursue these funding requests going forward.”

The VA conditionally approved 22 projects in seven states for a total of $122.5 million that includes only one new construction project: a 64-bed facility in Post Falls, ID.

In 2018, the Minnesota Legislature allocated $33 million toward the cost of the projects. The funding plan is a combination of federal-granted (65 percent), state-bonded and pending community-provided monies (35 percent).

“We appreciate the Minnesota Legislature’s support of our Veterans and these projects,” Herke said. “We are committed to completing these projects and will leave in place our federal funding requests for all three new homes projects.”

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