Veterans home for Pell City
Sep 01, 2010 | 5136 views |  1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gov. Bob Riley arrived in Pell City on Wednesday with a smile on his face and money in his pocket. He confirmed the rumors that had been flying in St. Clair County since Friday that the federal Department of Veterans Affairs had approved the funding to build a long-awaited veterans nursing home.

Riley announced that the state Department of Veterans Affairs had secured the $15 million federal grant that will allow construction to begin this year. The federal VA will eventually pay 65 percent of the construction costs, $33 million. The state will pay the remaining $17 million. The Alabama Legislature approved that money in 2008.

Adm. Clyde Marsh, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, said the new nursing home would be a prototype for future facilities providing continuous health care for veterans.

When it opens in 2012, sharing a campus with the new St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital and Jefferson State Community College — which has a respected nursing program — Pell City will become a center of state-of-the-art health care for veterans. The CEO of St. Vincent’s and the president of Jeff State both look forward to a synergy among the three institutions.

In addition to the economic benefits — the jobs, the tax revenue and the hoped-for future development — that will come with the health care campus in Pell City, the entire central Alabama region can take pride in providing the highest quality care for the men and women who have provided for our security through service in the military.