Veterans commissioner protests cuts in vets home project

Veterans Commissioner Ray Alcorn on Tuesday protested cutbacks in the Veterans Home project in Southern Nevada.

"I'm ensuring that the amenities that were programmed into this project in the beginning are there when it's finished," he said after the meeting.

He said since the $21 million project was presented to lawmakers, its size has been scaled back from 112,000 square feet to 88,000 square feet and a number of amenities have been cut back.

"As the agency head who is going to run this facility when it's completed, I want to be able to stand face to face with our veterans and say, 'Look, this is what we promised you,'" Alcorn told the Interim Finance Committee.

He said he doesn't believe that the cuts in landscaping and the "Town Square" areas in the home will be the last reductions. He said he has identified "at least $100,000 in interior issues" ranging from shelving in closets to equipment such as bedpan washers.

Alcorn said the landscaping budget is down from $750,000 to $450,000 and once-private bath areas will now be shared by up to four residents.

Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen, R-Minden, joined Alcorn in urging lawmakers to make sure the home is what veterans were promised when they approved funding for it during the 1999 Legislature.

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