Edmonson Voice Staff Report:
A veterans’ nursing home in Bowling Green is one step closer to reality after continued efforts from Rep. Michael Lee Meredith.
“I am pleased that my colleagues on the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee recognize how vitally important this project is to the veterans in Warren County and south central Kentucky,” Meredith said. “Having an adequate facility to properly care for our aging veterans is the least we can do for those that were willing to give so much for our freedom.”
House Bill 24 appropriates $2.5 million for design and preconstruction from the General Fund to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. This funding comes in addition to the $10.5 million in state bond funding that was allocated by the 2017 General Assembly.
The measure is cosponsored by every representative serving Warren County, including Representatives Steve Sheldon, Steve Riley, Patti Minter, Jason Petrie, and Wilson Stone. Also signing on were Representatives Chris Fugate, Mark Hart, Phillip Pratt, Melinda Gibbons Prunty, Brandon Reed, Bart Rowland, Walker Thomas and Ken Upchurch.
Representative Steve Sheldon of Bowling Green commented on the need to sign this measure into law.
“This money represents the design fees associated with the project,” Sheldon said. “We need to get this passed to be able to draw down the federal money to help us with the cost of the facility.”
According to a statement provided by Meredith's office, this proposed 90 bed facility would be Kentucky’s fifth veterans’ nursing home and fulfill a long-standing need for the residents of south central Kentucky, who have loved ones currently living in veterans’ nursing homes across the state.
Meredith's office also stated that this measure is even more important and urgent as additional funding has been allocated to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by the Trump Administration for projects such as these.
“Because of the significant investment into the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the federal government is quickly moving forward on projects that have been in the works for some time,” Meredith added. “We could receive federal funding by this summer, but in order to do so, we must make the design work a priority.”
House Bill 24 will move to the full House for consideration. Specific details of the measure can be viewed here.