BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) — Raleigh County delegates are drafting legislation to help fund the construction of a veterans nursing facility in Beckley.
Delegate Mick Bates, D-Raleigh, along with Delegates Jeffrey Pack, Brandon Steele, and Chris Toney, all R-Raleigh, are drafting legislation to introduce in the upcoming Regular Session to provide the state’s portion of funding for the facility.
This proposed supplemental appropriations bill would direct $14 million out of this year’s budget from the unappropriated lottery net profit surplus to the Veterans Home Contribution Fund. This amount represents approximately 35% of the total cost, with about $26 million coming from a federal match.
“It is important to act now because the likelihood of that federal match decreases with the large budget deficits that we face on the national level,” Bates said.
Currently, there is one veterans nursing facility in the state, located in Clarksburg, that provides specialized care to veterans. The facility has 120 beds but only about 20 of those beds provide specialized care for veterans with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
In 2014, the state Department of Agriculture transferred about 17 acres of property in Beckley for the purpose of building a second veterans nursing home in the state. This facility would serve veterans throughout southern West Virginia.
“Every year, we say how important our veterans are and how vital this funding is,” Bates said. “We say it but we don’t show it. It is time for us to show it and make this a spending priority.”