It's a question that's been asked for some time: does the eastern side of South Dakota need a veteran's nursing home?
The state was looking at moving ahead with a plan to build one. But then the funding took a different direction. But, for some people in Brandon, that doesn't mean it's a done deal.
The state passed legislation to build a veterans home in eastern South Dakota. There was even a grant on the table to pay for 65% of it. But that money is going toward re-building the one in Hot Springs instead.
Now people in Brandon are trying to find the funding themselves.
“The state is asking for proposals to possibly work with different partners to build a new vets home,” Dennis Sever said.
Sever is the CEO of Bethany Meadows Nursing Home in Brandon. He says they're now looking into securing private funding to move forward with building a veterans home on their property. And with 160 acres to work with, he thinks it's the perfect location.
“We’re right close and in between the services that the VA hospital and the VA clinics and all of the veterans programs have in the Sioux Falls market area as well as the VA home and some of the services that are available in the Laverne area. So we sit kinda right in the middle of that, it would be easy access,” Sever said.
They would simply build a duplicate of the new home they're currently building. It would cost between $10 and $12 million and need private funding to build, which Brandon City Council Member Jo Hausman believes can happen.
“I think it's very viable. And like I said, I will try to do whatever I can to get the home to Brandon,” Hausman said.
To her, it's also personal. Her late husband was a veteran and spent the end of his life at the VA in Sioux Falls. She said if there would have been a home in Brandon they could have spent more of his last days together.
“I had to go back and forth all the time. If he would have been here, I could have been with him almost daily,” Hausman said.
“God opens doors and God has a way to make things happen. And I always believe if something's meant to be, something works out and God does allow us to do that,” Sever said.
There will be a meeting in Brandon next week with local business owners and city leaders to look at where they want to start getting the funding from.
If they can get it, they will most likely lease the future facility to the state.