Nebraska VA Head Defends Decision To Move Vets' Home

By: AP
By: AP

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The director of the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs is defending a decision to move a state veterans' home from Grand Island to Kearney.

Director John Hilgert said Thursday that state officials went with a competitive bidding process for the Central Nebraska Veterans Home because they believed it was the best way to proceed.

Gov. Dave Heineman announced in July that Kearney had won the project. The decision angered local officials in Grand Island, where the home has been located for nearly 127 years.

Hilgert's comments came in response to a bill by Sen. Mike Gloor of Grand Island that would create more legislative oversight and potentially block the move. Gloor says the decision was based on subjective criteria, including "cultural factors" and "community support."

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