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Funding Secured

Mayor Coral Evans stands at the site of the future veterans home on the southeast corner of Gemini Drive and Cedar Avenue. The project involves the city of Flagstaff donating land while the federal government and state of Arizona donate cash for construction and operation of the facility.

Jake Bacon, Arizona Daily Sun

Flagstaff learned Friday that it will receive federal funding to construct an 80-bed nursing home for veterans on McMillan Mesa, Flagstaff leaders announced Friday.

The federal government has allocated funding to complete 52 projects on the 2018 list, and Flagstaff is number 52, Mayor Coral Evans said.

Evans said if all goes according to plan, construction can begin on the home in spring of 2019, and will be completed in 18 to 24 months. Yuma also received funding for a veterans’ home as part of the announcement.

Flagstaff was required to allot the land for the home as its contribution, and the state had to give a $10 million contribution, which Governor Doug Ducey approved in May 2016. The Department of Veterans Affairs then was responsible for the rest of the cost, which was previously said to be $20 million.

In August of 2017, the department announced a change to its funding criteria that would help rural communities compete to create the facilities.

“This is extremely important for our veterans,” Evans said. “This is a good way to show support for our veterans, not only in Flagstaff, but in all of northern Arizona.”

Evans began researching the possibility of a veterans home in the city in 2011, and the city allocated the land in 2015.

The home will serve as a nursing home for both veterans and their spouses, Evans said.

Evans said the funding was a victory for veterans in northern Arizona, and said many other people played a critical role in securing the funding.

Former Flagstaff City Councilman Jeff Oravits worked closely with Evans when trying to secure money from the state. Evans also said Ducey, senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, Congressman Tom O’Halleran and Victor Daniels, from the Arizona VA were instrumental in helping the city receive the grant for the home.

The reporter can be reached at cvanek@azdailysun.com or 556-2249.

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City Government and Development Reporter

Corina Vanek covers city government, city growth and development for the Arizona Daily Sun.

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