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3 MN Veterans Homes to get federal funding, construction could begin in the fall

The proposed Veterans Homes in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston have been in the works for years.

The state of Minnesota will receive federal funding this year to build its three proposed State Veterans Homes. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently released its State Home Construction Grants Fiscal Year 2021 Conditional Approvals, which includes funding for the new Veterans Homes in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston, said the office of Gov. Tim Walz said in a news release. 

“As a veteran myself, I recognize the obligation we have as a state and a country to deliver on the benefits our veterans have earned,” Walz said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to expand our State Veterans Homes into three new communities to serve our elderly veterans living in all corners on the state.”

The three new Veterans Homes are expected to receive more than $80 million in federal VA funds, the release says. the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will complete the Federal VA grant application process by June 30 to obtain the funds. 

“The approval of federal funds will allow us to now move forward with construction. The planning and design process is nearly complete and now with this exciting news, those final touches can be made," Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) Commissioner Larry Herke said in a statement.

The future Veterans Homes are being built with a combination of federal grants (65%) and state and community money (33%). In 2018, the Minnesota Legislature allocated $33 million toward the projects. 

"These homes will be life-changing for Minnesota veterans who will receive excellent care closer to home," state Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, who is the former chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said in a statement

U.S. Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., cheered this news. Two of the proposed Veterans Homes, in Bemidji and Montevideo, are within the Seventh Congressional District, which she represents. 

“These communities have been working for more than a decade to get this done, and I am glad to see these projects finally nearing the finish line,” said Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-7). “They are going to make a big difference for veterans and their families in our state.”

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In a news release, Fischbach said the state will receive about $26.9 million for the 72-bed Bemidji facility and $31.2 million for the 72-bed Montevideo facility. 

The rest, nearly $22 million, will be for the 54-bed Preston facility. 

Construction on the State Veterans Homes could begin as early as this fall and will take about 18 months, the governor's news release says.  

Minnesota currently has five homes s in Fergus Falls, Hastings, Luverne, Minneapolis and Silver Bay where veterans can receive healthcare. You can find more about the state's Veterans Homes and the proposed homes here

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