It Could Take Four to Five Years, But Study Supports New Veterans Home in North Idaho

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The Idaho Division of Veterans Services estimates that it will be four to five years before Idaho builds another state veterans home, but a new study is pointing to Kootenai County as its ideal location.

"It will take the will of the Legisalture and desire of elected leaders to move this forward," David Basuell, administrator for the division, told a Post Falls gathering Monday evening.

The Coeur d'Alene Press reports that the feasibility study confirmed a need for another Idaho veterans home, in large part because there are an estimated 18,000 veterans in Kootenai County alone. A proposed facility would have nearly 100 beds to serve the entire Idaho Panhandle. Currently the state runs veterans homes in Boise, Lewiston and Pocatello.

The Press reports that nearly 65 percent of funding for construction of veterans homes comes from the VA, and the state would pay about 35 percent. The approximate cost would be close to $20 million. The Idaho Legislature agreed to allocate $250,000 on the feasibility study, which was commissioned by the Idaho Division of Veterans Services. The study is expected to be presented to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and the Idaho Legislature in January.