At the Kittson County Board meeting on October 2, the commissioners heard a proposal on a regional veterans’ home to be built in Bemidji.
Scotty Allison and Joe Vene, representing the Veterans Service Office of Beltrami County in Bemidji, presented plans for a 72-bed facility which would be available to sixteen northern Minnesota counties: Kittson, Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Polk, Pennington, Red Lake, Beltrami, Koochiching, Clearwater, Itasca, Norman, Mahnomen, Hubbard, Cass, and Crow Wing.
Since 2007, efforts have been made to get a veterans’ home in the sixteen county area. The next nearest facilities are in Fergus Falls or Silver Bay.
$32 million in potential funds would be used to build three veterans homes across Minnesota: Montevideo, Preston, and Bemidji.
Of those funds, $12.4 million would be designated for the Bemidji location. Bemidji was selected to receive the largest portion of the funds based on the 18,000 veterans who live in Beltrami County and the nine surrounding counties.
The project is estimated at $43 million. Current fundraising efforts total $1.7 million. Local contributions will be matched by federal dollars.
The project is in fundraising mode with a goal of opening the facility in May 2021.
For more, see this week’s North Star News!