Swift County stands by $50,000 pledge to Monte veterans home

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Swift County remains committed to its promise of $50,000 to help with the construction of a veterans home in Montevideo made in February 2014 .

Backers of the project were at the Swift County board meeting Tuesday, July 3, to update commissioners on the project status and to say they would like to receive the county’s funds by Nov. 1.

“It may be a home run for Montevideo, but it is also a base hit for us because we just can’t live within county lines anymore,” Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson and Torning Township said. “This is something that is going to be a benefit to our citizens.” He added that it is important for the county to stand by its commitment of $50,000.

Swift County has around 900 veterans, Veterans Service Officer Dave Barrett says. Many local veterans, however, don’t use those homes because they are so far away from their families.

Completing an application to get on the waiting list to get into a veterans home is simple, Barrett said. The big hurdle is that “the waiting lists are many times in the 8 to 12 month range, but varies depending on which home.”

This past May, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bonding bill that includes $9.4 million for a proposed Montevideo Regional Veterans Home. It took 11 years to get legislative approval for the project, which would see the construction of a $44 million, 72-bed facility that would provide veterans a health facility in west central Minnesota.

Swift County’s pledge of $50,000 is part of more than $5 million in financing committed toward the project with $3 million coming from Chippewa County and $650,000 from the City of Montevideo and its economic development organizations. Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties have also pledged $50,000.

The City of Montevideo is also donating 13.5 acres of land on the southeast side of town valued at $707,850 to the project.

Marv Garbe, chair, Montevideo Regional Veterans Home Committee, told commissioners last week that his group has met recently with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs for an update on the status of the three projects approved for funding by the Legislature. Bemidji and Preston are also looking at building 72-bed veterans homes. There are currently five Minnesota Veterans Homes in the state: Luverne, Fergus Falls, Hastings, Silver Bay and Minneapolis....


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