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MDVA highlights needed repairs at Hastings Veterans Home

The tunnel system at the Veterans Home in Hastings is in need of repairs. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito speaks at a press conference at the Hastings Veterans Home April 27. Pictured, from left, are Shellito, Matt Massman, Senator Karla Bigham and Representative Tony Jurgens. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

The Veterans Home facility in Hastings is nearly a century old. As with any aging building maintenance is required, and it could see funding for much needed repairs through Governor Mark Dayton's bonding bill.

The bill includes $13.1 million to fix and upgrade five state Veterans Homes across Minnesota and the Little Falls State Veterans Cemetery.

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito and Minnesota Department of Administration Commissioner Matt Massman visited the Veterans Home in Hastings April 27 to highlight the needed repairs and maintenance in the facility. The Hastings Veterans Home provides domiciliary care to about 140 Minnesota veterans.

"We need to repair and maintain the places our nation's heroes call home," Massman said.

Specific to the Veterans Home in Hastings, critical needs include replacement of interior and exterior doors, roofing and water lines, HVAC controls and repair of crumbling walls in the tunnel system.

The public works proposal to cover the highest priority repairs for veterans' facilities across the state would also cover the facilities in Minneapolis, Fergus Falls, Luverne and Silver Bay. In all, the MDVA is responsible for 68 buildings around the state, spanning more than a million square feet. The proposal highlights needs in the facilities that serve nearly 800 Minnesota veterans and spouses.

Massman said that if the repairs and upgrades are not addressed, the problems will only get worse and the price tag will get bigger.

Shellito said the repairs are critical to the mission of caring for Minnesota Veterans and their families.

"This proposal will allow us to continue honoring our veterans in a manner which they so richly deserve," Shellito said.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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