The Veterans Home in Preston moved one step closer to reality yesterday after the Minnesota Legislative Advisory Commission sent a letter to Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans to approve the agency's plans to spend the pending federal grant funds for the construction of Veterans homes in Preston, Bemidji, and Montevideo.

According to a release from Nick Sherlock, the Legislative Advisory Commission is authorized to review and grant requests by state agencies for the use of federal funds.

“The final piece we need in order to get shovels in the ground is the federal government’s share of the funding,” said Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona). “Many of our veterans will benefit from these veterans homes and it’s critically important get then built as soon as possible.”

Back in 2018, the legislature passed $32 million in state funding for the construction of the new veterans homes, and combined with local matching funds, the state's contribution represents approximately 35 percent of the total construction costs.

In March, after extensive community input and fundraising, the state submitted its grant application to secure the remaining federal funds.

The veterans home in Preston is projected to cost $10.2 million and will house 54 beds. If funding comes through this cycle construction would begin in the summer of 2020. It would be open and occupied in early 2022.