- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota House unanimously approved a bill Monday that would use a windfall in state revenue to pay the state’s share of constructing a new Veterans Home in Hot Springs.

The campus dates back to 1889, and the renovations include the demolition of two buildings along with the design, construction and equipping of a new one. The new building will have 100 beds for nursing care and assisted living. The facility, which will be open to South Dakota veterans, is expected to be ready for residents in early 2016.

The project is being financed with $23.6 million in federal funds and $16.4 million in state funds. The state had planned to issue bonds to pay its share, but extra one-time revenue will allow the state to pay its share in cash rather than by issuing bonds.

State officials have said the bill does not seek extra money, but just avoids issuing bond debt.

Bids last year exceeded projected costs, but state officials worked with an architect and construction company to bring the price down to $41.3 million.

The $16.4 million in state money comes from a windfall of unclaimed property and the relocation of two large banks to the state. A federal Veterans Administration grant provided most of the remaining funds.

The measure next goes to the Senate.

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