Hot Springs 'Save the VA committee' head to Washington - KOTA Territory News

Hot Springs 'Save the VA committee' head to Washington


The fight to keep the Hot Springs VA open reaches a crucial turning point, and finds some powerful allies.
Five members of the save the VA committee, along with South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, will travel to Washington Monday, to present their proposal to keep the Hot Springs facilities open to Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Plans were announced almost a year ago to downsize the Hot Springs facilities.

Four congressional candidates, from both South Dakota and Nebraska will also be in attendance.

The committee's proposal includes developing sustainable business enterprises to employ veterans while they receive treatment.
"We could be able to cut the costs of care down for veterans, we believe we're also reducing the unemployment for veterans and we are helping to revitalize a rural community," said Rich Gross, a member of the Save the VA committee.
"This VA is a healing place for our nations hero's. They do not want to travel longer distances to stand in longer lines," said Patrick Russell, Chairman of the Save the VA committee.
Save the VA committee leaders say their proposal would cost around $25 million dollars to renovate existing facilities.

V A leaders, however, say mothballing the current Hot Springs VA buildings would cost $107 million over the next 30 years.

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