Sen. Dean Heller asks if Nevada locations will be hit by VA office closures | NevadaAppeal.com

Sen. Dean Heller asks if Nevada locations will be hit by VA office closures

Dean Heller

In the wake of the announcement the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to close 1,100 offices nationwide, Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has asked whether any of Nevada’s facilities are on the list.

He said he understands the desire to consolidate hundreds of vacant VA buildings, “so those resources can be directed toward the needs of veterans.”

“I have concerns with the potential closure of any Nevada VA facilities and believe Congress should approve any changes moving forward,” he said in a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Skulkin.

Heller said he specifically wants a list of Nevada VA facilities the department is considering shuttering, “along with an assessment for the need for closure.”

He said the assessment should include the size and uses of the facilities, how many VA employees work in any of those offices and the plan for how those services would be replaced.

Skulkin announced his intention to shut some VA facilities nationwide at a House committee hearing, saying more than 430 are vacant and another 735 “under utilized,” costing the government a total of $25 million a year.

He said during the hearing he would work with Congress to prioritize buildings for closure. Internal documents obtained by the Associated Press said more than half the buildings on the list were more than 50 years old and, of the vacant buildings, some were more than 90 years old and would require millions to renovate.

The documents didn’t provide locations of the buildings on the list.

Heller asked for a response to the request by May 18.