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 8 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 renovated and used for 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.

Fran Sousa November 04, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Marina and her Eastbay Un-Patriots trying to defeat a bond referendum for our Veterans.
Fran Sousa November 05, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Mariana typical of you totry and through something that has no revelance like illegal aliens at the bond referendum for our Veterans. Why do you tell us how muck is spent on illegal aliens and how much is spent on our Veterans
Fran Sousa November 05, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Never mind Marina I just saw your made up figures. By the way these figures were all proven wrong by the Providence Journal years ago. Stop taking aim at our Veterans to try and prove your unrealistic point
cernernut November 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I am voting "NO" on all referenda; until the pols can show some responsibility in controlling waste and fraud-----not another penny!
Still Broke November 06, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I agree. We just made all of these cuts last year to pensions etc. because we couldn't afford them and were going broke. Now that we seem to have a little breathing room, all of these new bond issues are coming up. We'll be right back where we started.


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