A proposal to replace an outdated veterans’ home in central Nebraska is drawing scrutiny from lawmakers, who raise concerns that the facility might move from its longtime home in Grand Island.
The home’s administrator, Alex Willford, told lawmakers Monday that the 126-year-old facility does not have enough toilets. Its stairs and hallways are not wheelchair-friendly.
Department of Veterans Affairs director John Hilgert told lawmakers that other cities have expressed interest in the facility. He says putting the project up for bids could save tax dollars.
Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, says improvements are needed. But Mello voiced concerns that bidding the project would create an “arms race” among cities. Other senators expressed concerns about the loss of jobs in Grand Island.