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Minnesota to build 3 new veterans homes, 1 planned for Bemidji

BEMIDJI, MN -- Minnesota's governor announced Tuesday the state has received funding for three new veterans' homes to serve our nation's aging heroes, including a new facility in Bemidji.

The other homes will be located in Montevideo and Preston.

According to Governor Tim Walz's office, the funding for the projects is largely coming from the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“As a veteran myself, I recognize the obligation we have as a state and a country to deliver on the benefits our veterans have earned,” said Walz. “We are pleased to be able to expand our State Veterans Homes into three new communities to serve our elderly veterans living in all corners on the state.”

In 2018, the Minnesota Legislature allocated $33 million toward the cost of the projects.

The three new Minnesota Veterans Homes projects are slated to receive more than $80 million in federal VA funds.

Walz said MDVA leaders have worked closely with local elected officials and veterans’ stakeholders on the planning for the new Veterans Homes.

"The communities of Bemidji, Montevideo, and Preston have been very engaged in the process, donating land for the building sites and raising additional funds to support amenities for the new homes," Walz said.

In Bemidji, the proposed facility reflects a North Woods cabin design for the public spaces as well as the 72 residential units that are split into two sections, avoiding long institutional-feeling hallways.

There was no immediate word where the Bemidji facility will be located.

Construction could begin as early as early fall 2021. The state expects it will take around 18 months to build.

Briggs LeSavage

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