The Rochester Post-Bulletin reported Friday that a proposal to build a veterans home there hit a snag, which could be good news for plans for a similar facility in Bemidji.
A former Rochester nursing home is slated to be sold to a Christian addiction treatment facility, Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge.
(State Sen. Dave Senjem) introduced a bill seeking $4 million to buy the Samaritan Bethany facility and convert it into a veterans home. If the facility is sold, Senjem said that would likely put an end to the quest for a veterans home in the city.
“The major attraction of this was that the site is in place, it’s built, it’s relatively inexpensive, it can be put into service relatively quickly,” Senjem said. “I think it would be difficult to resurrect a veterans home, frankly, right out of the dirt at this point for a new facility.”
The Post-Bulletin notes, however, that the deal isn’t final and Senjem plans to keep working toward a veterans home.
The news could be good for Bemidji, where local leaders have long sought a state veterans home. State Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, introduced a bill this month to appropriate $250,000 for pre-design work of a veterans home here.
Last year, Sanford Health pledged to donate some land on its campus for the home.