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Do You Support Building a New Veterans Home?

Question 4 on the Nov. 6 ballot asks residents whether the state should borrow $94 million tp build a new facility and renovate the existing one.


Edward Hanrahan has lived at the Rhode Island Veterans Home for eight years. He commends the staff for the service and care he receives, both of which he says are outstanding.

What is not is the facility he lives in.

"We're damn glad to be here on the whole; we get excellent care," the World War II veteran and bronze star winner said. "But we do need a new home. It's an old building ... problems with the sewers, problems with the pipes, and so many leaks in the roof. Buildings this old ... very few still standing."

The Veterans Home on Metacom Avenue in Bristol was built in 1954 and was last renovated in 1969, according to state Rep. Ray Gallison, who hosted an event at the home Tuesday to rally support for Question 4 on the Nov. 6 ballot, asking residents to borrow $94 million to build a new veterans home.

"It's starting to get old and worn out, and there have been a lot of Band-aids," Gallison said after the rally. "We need a modern facility. This is for our vets."

The new Veterans Home, which would be built on land behind the existing facility, would house 240 permanent residents, including some spouses who don't currently live at the facility, along with dining and recreation areas. The existing facility would be renovate and used rehabilitation services, allowing residents to get treatment on campus instead of traveling to the veterans hopsital in Providence.

Not all are in favor of borrowing such a sum while the state economy is still struggling to recover from recession. The Provience Journal, for instance, has come out against the bond referendum, citing the project's cost and its impact on a relatively small number of people.

While the number seems high, Gallison pointed out that there are no other large referenda on the ballot this year — even for road projects which have appeared on many recent ballots before the state moved to a pay-as-you-go system — and that the state will receive federal matching funds if the referendum passes, helping defray the costs. Plus, the project benefits those deserving of help later in life. 

"We have a moral obligation to get this passed," Gallison said. "People in Rhode Island have always supports veterans."

Gov. Chafee acknowledged the recovering economy, but noted that for the first time in 72 months, all five indicators for uemployment are positive. "We can afford to go out and support Number 4," he said.

So what do you think? Should the state go to bond for $94 million for a new Veterans Home or is this the wrong time to borrow such a sum? Do you plan to vote for Question 4? Tell us in the comments section below.

Stephanie Caldwell November 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM
I think if a country will ask it's people to serve it with their lives, bodies and minds, it automatically has a moral & ethical obligation to serve those people in return. The price tag for veteran care, job placement and housing should not be considered separate from the cost of the war they served in, it is part of the big picture. Our heros are not disposable. I voted in favor of question 4 today :)
Devra November 06, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I've worked at the Bristol Home. Our Vets have excellent care and the staff is so kind, but the building needs some serious improvements. Our Vets deserve the best home possible, it's the least we can do for their sacrifices on our behalf.
Alicarn November 06, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Yes!! Where would we be without our Veterans? Those who fought for our freedom in WW2 and then Korea and Vietnam. And those smaller, but equally important, wars in Grenada and Kuwait! Especially for the Veterans of the unjust war in Iraq and those who fought and are still fighting in Afghanistan with less equipment and personnel than they need we MUST be able to take care of them when they need it. I agree completely with the ladies who posts are above.

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