State Sen. Mike Gloor of Grand Island, Mayor Jay Vavricek and Hall County board Chairwoman Pam Lancaster each sent letters today to Gov. Dave Heineman in response to his call last week that Grand Island get behind the new veterans home in Kearney.
None of the local leaders indicated that they could support the home's move or the governor's call for support for Kearney.
"I continue to support a replacement facility at the Grand Island Veterans Home site, just as I have since my first year in the Legislature, when I requested the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee hold a hearing for LR82 at that facility," Gloor stated.
"As mayor of Grand Island, I cannot accept or appreciate the recommendation to close and move the Grand Island Veterans Home to any other Nebraska community," Vavricek wrote.
Lancaster said Heineman's announcement in July that the home would be moving to a currently undeveloped industrial park in Kearney after 126 years in Grand Island "shocked Grand Island/Hall County veterans and residents."
"The fact is that we care all too much to allow our veterans to be placed in a home in an industrial site, close to an airport runway, with nowhere to go, without giving it our best effort to rectify a truly poor decision," Lancaster wrote to the governor.
In the governor's Oct. 10 letter to the three local leaders, Heineman had taken particular issue with two things that he said could jeopardize federal funding for the new home.
One is an alternative home proposal that calls for remodeling and replacing parts of the existing home in Grand Island. The other was a Sept. 6 letter sent by Hall County Veterans Service Officer Don Shuda to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki asking for more study on the matter before federal funding is extended.