The state is committed to building a retirement home for veterans on the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus and hopes to secure funding next year to build it, a representative of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs told veterans at a VA town hall meeting Tuesday.

Ana Potter, director of aging veterans services for the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, said Roseburg will definitely be the site of the state’s third veterans home. The other two are in The Dalles and Lebanon.

“We’re very excited. Our new director’s been working with everybody. We’re all collaborating to try to figure out how we can make this happen as soon as possible,” Potter said.

Potter said the facility will be a 120-bed nursing home patterned after the state’s second veteran home in Lebanon. It will have small units, with about 14 patients per unit, and will include rooms for dementia patients.

Roseburg VA Interim Director Dave Whitmer said a land transfer is underway and should be completed in 2019. The ODVA is seeking a grant from the VA’s State Home Grant Program, so the project could be funded by August or September, he said.

The VA would pay 65 percent of the cost to construct the home, and state and local governments will pick up the remaining 35 percent, he said. The state legislature has authorized $10.7 million, and state Sen. Dallas Heard, state Rep. Gary Leif and Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman have all committed to ensure state and local resources will be available for the project.

“Everyone is committed to having that third Oregon state home here on our campus in Roseburg, and I think it’s a real game-changer for this campus,” Whitmer said.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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