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LqP County pledges $50K to vets home

MADISON -- Lac qui Parle County is joining its neighbors in supporting plans to develop a veterans home in Montevideo.

The Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to commit $50,000 toward the possible construction of a veterans home in Montevideo, said Jim Curtiss, mayor of Montevideo. He was among task force members who met with the Lac qui Parle County and Swift County boards of commissioners to garner support for the project on Tuesday.

The Swift County Board of Commissioners took the matter under advisement.

The Yellow Medicine County Board of Commissioners has already pledged $50,000 and the Chippewa County Board of Commissioners pledged $300,000 to the project.

The 90-bed nursing home is proposed to meet veterans' needs. Support from the local counties is asked based on the economic benefits that would result from its construction and the long-term jobs it would create. The action by Lac qui Parle County brings to $955,000 the amount pledged toward the project.

Curtiss said the task force is confident it will have $1 million in pledges raised when the proposal is heard in the state Legislature in February. Rep. Lyle Koenen, DFL-Clara City, has drafted a bill calling on the state to build a veterans home in Montevideo.

The city of Montevideo has developed plans for the home, which would cost an estimated $23 million. Task force members hope an offer of $1 million to $2 million toward the state's estimated $8 million share of costs for a veterans home would encourage the Legislature to approve the project. The remainder of the costs would belong to the federal government.

Curtiss said it is impossible to know how the project will be received this year as the state grapples with a major budget deficit.