Newsroom > DHHS News Release

January 2, 2014

Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9313 or (cell) 402-326-4277, or
Central Nebraska Veterans Home Included in National Priority List

Lincoln – Today, Nebraska’s Department of Health of Human Services’ Director of Veterans Homes John Hilgert received notification from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of the 2014 priority list providing a ranking and funding process for awarding state veteran home construction grants.  The Central Nebraska Veterans Home at Kearney is listed as a top 25 priority one project, ranked at 22.

Director Hilgert made the following statement:

“We are pleased to have been notified by the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs that the Central Nebraska Veterans Home project to be located at Kearney has been identified as a priority one top 25 project in the nation. We are hopeful that federal funding will become available in the near future allowing the Central Nebraska Veterans Home project to move forward. This project is a priority to Nebraska, because our veterans deserve a safe and modern home for their service to our country.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released the list of 62 national priority one projects. In July 2013, Gov. Dave Heineman announced Kearney as the new location of the Central Nebraska Veterans Home. Kearney was chosen through a thorough and open bidding process to replace the current 125-year-old Grand Island Veterans Home.

In May 2013, Gov. Heineman signed LB 198 into law, allowing the appropriation of funds for capital construction and property acquisition. In compliance with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Community Living Communities current standards, one 225-bed long-term care facility will be constructed for use by veterans.

In the new Central Nebraska Veterans Home, the resident rooms will be distributed among five services – Long-Term Care, Medically Complex, Dementia, Hospice, and Assisted Living in households of 12 to 15 members. The cost of the budgeted project is $121 million with an approximate cost of $102 million for the facility. The project funded by a federal and state match and would employee over 350 fulltime positions.