The "Save the VA" committee has been working tirelessly to keep the VA hospital open in Hot Springs. But the decision to do an environmental impact could be a major set back. The Department of Veteran Affairs is moving forward with an environmental impact study on closing the century–old historic Hot Springs facility and building facilities in Rapid City.
The veterans administration says it will be cheaper and more efficient. But that's not how many veterans see it. The group "Save the VA" have been doing similar research for years, that has shown it should stay open.
While the Director of the VA Black Hills Health Care System Steve DiStasio thinks it will be positive for the community. Members of the "Save the VA" are not convinced.
"It considers a number of factors so it needs to consider the historical buildings, things here that surround as is hot springs, it needs to considers economic impact on the VA, the community of hot springs," said DiStasio.
"We are extremely disappointed that the secretary has taken the step that he has taken, however it really doesn't surprise us actually doing the environmental impact study is something should be started a long time ago," said Rich Gross, member of "Save the VA."
The Environmental Impact Study will take any where from 10 to 18 months to complete. Results will be sent to Washington, DC and a decision will then be made.