The Alabama Board of Veterans Affairs on Friday approved site selection for a new approximately $60 million veterans home to be located in Enterprise, which is expected to open by 2023.
The 108-acre Coffee County location between US 84 and Alabama 167 was identified as having the largest veteran population projections in a study done to determine veterans needs into the future, according to a press release from the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday.
“This was a difficult selection process, as many communities submitted excellent proposals for the new veterans home. We are excited about this project, as this location will give access to many underserved veterans,” Chad Richmond, SBVA vice-chairman, said in a statement. “The committee team worked diligently and fairly through this process, and I’m confident that our selection of Enterprise will provide the setting and care our veterans deserve.”
In 2018 a consulting company was hired to conduct a feasibility study to determine the long-term healthcare needs of Alabama’s veterans.
The results of that study showed that 1,440 veterans would need a skilled-care bed by 2045. Currently, the state VA operates 704 beds across four veterans homes.
Researchers selected the 10-county Wiregrass region as the best location for the new home to meet veterans’ needs, as it has no such facility. The nearest facility is an hour’s drive from the region.
The state Department of Veterans Affairs in April applied for a federal grant which will pay for 65 percent of the approximately. $60 million cost. The state is to pay the remaining 35 percent.
A sight selection committee reviewed the 12 proposals submitted to the state agency and in December visited several of those locations.
The Bill Nichols State Veterans Home opened in Alexander City in 1989, followed by the 1995 opening of the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville and the William F. Green State Veterans Home in Bay Minette. The Colonel Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home opened in Pell City in 2012, according to the state DVA.
All four existing veterans homes are operated by South Carolina-based HMR Veterans Services Inc., under oversight by the Alabama Board of Veterans Affairs. HMR Veterans Services also operates homes in South Carolina, Maryland and Texas, according to the company’s website.