PIERRE | State senators voted unanimously Monday to spend nearly $7 million more for a new South Dakota veterans home at Hot Springs.
Sen Bruce Rampelberg, R-Rapid City, said the legislation is “one more step” in the support of the facility and the community. The vote was 33-0.
The legislation, SB27, now moves to the House of Representatives. The Legislature originally approved the project in 2011. The current bill makes four major changes:
- An additional $1.3 million of state funding would be earmarked to cover two more housing units and a furnace facility;
- The state Department of Veterans’ Affairs would be authorized to spend more than was allotted in 2011;
- The department could purchase 10 more lots in the city; and
- The legislation provides for $41,271,214 in total costs, up from the $34,600,000 set in 2011 and an increase of $6,671,214.
The federal government is contributing $23,599,934. The South Dakota Building Authority would be allowed to bond $16,365,044, approximately $4.2 million more than in current law.
Sen. Bill Van Gerpen, R-Tyndall, said the federal aid is one of the largest amounts granted for a state veterans home.
“This is a great opportunity you and I have today,” he said.
Van Gerpen said there are 83 men and three women now living at the home. He suggested to the senators they take their children and grandchildren to the home to visit the veterans there.