January 27, 2017
The facility would be built on a 10-acre parcel of land near Continental Drive and the Interstate 90 interchange in Butte. Don Harrington donated the land. The other veterans homes in the state are in Columbia Falls, nearly a four-hour drive away, and Glendive, which is six hours away.The Butte delegation and others on Friday pushed for the Legislature to approve a loan to build a long-awaited veterans home in southwest Montana that would serve the state’s many veterans.
Proponents overwhelmingly urged a subcommittee to help fund the projected $16.8-million project in bonds. The state has $5 million to commit to the nonpartisan project, but the federal government has not provided additional money as hoped because Montana is not on a high-priority list compared to other states.
“We have $5 million in the bank, but we need $10 million (of bonded money),” said Sen. Jon Sesso, D-Butte. “But we are losing more in construction inflation waiting to build the home. This is a simple formula.”
Sesso, Senate Minority Leader and one of the long-range planning committee members hearing testimony on House Bill 14, said Montana has been on the federal list since 2012.
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