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Beckley veterans home will cost state $25 million

BECKLEY, W.Va. — The 120-bed veterans’ nursing home slated for Beckley will cost the state $25 million, according to Rick Thompson, the state’s Secretary of Veterans Assistance.

Sen. Mike Green, D-Raleigh, ran the bill to secure 17 acres adjacent to Jackie Withrow Hospital, ensuring Beckley would be the location of the second veterans’ nursing home in the state.

“We knew there would be financial skin in the game,” Green said. The senator said it was his “No. 1” to ensure the location so that when federal dollars are available, Beckley would be the site.

The acreage belongs to the Department of Agriculture; transferring the land to the Department of Veterans Assistance was part of Green’s bill.

The law did not designate a funding source for construction.

Green, who sits on the Committee on Finance, said he’d take a look at money already in the state’s more than $4 billion budget to see if there is money to move, or if “we have to generate new revenue.”

Either way, Green said he doesn’t believe lawmakers will have a problem with funding the long-term care facility. He said the Department of Veterans Assistance may also have some discretionary funds available to help build the nursing home.

Speaking on the anniversary of 9/11, Green said it was coincidental, but also fitting to be talking about veterans and their long-term care…

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