With the signing of the bonding bill last Wednesday by Gov. Mark Dayton, the Montevideo Veterans Home Project took a major step forward.

With the signing of the bonding bill last Wednesday by Gov. Mark Dayton, the Montevideo Veterans Home Project took a major step forward. Included in the bonding bill was $32 million appropriated for the construction of veterans homes in Montevideo, Bemidji, and Preston.

The signing of the bonding bill represents an important milestone for advocates of the local project, who began their quest to bring a veterans home to Montevideo over 11 years ago.

Last Thursday, Rep. Tim Miller R-Prinsburg, Marvin Garbe, and Angie Steinbach went on a media tour to talk about the project, and where it goes moving forward.

Garbe recounted how the idea for the project came about. “Scott Marquardt, Steve Jones, Dennis Anderson, who was the head of the local Veterans Affairs Office at the time, and myself met with a couple of representatives of the Department of Veterans Affairs. They talked us through the whole process and we began the application process at that time,” said Garbe.

A committee was formed and Senator Gary Kubly and Rep. Lyle Koenen were soon on board with the project and drafted bills to introduce to the House and Senate. The Veterans Home Committee soon found themselves traveling to St. Paul to testify at hearings. “We’d go down there and testify and testify, and since the money would have to come from a bonding bill, we’d have a two year break waiting for the next bonding session,” Garbe said.

The Veterans Home Committee’s hard work and persistence paid off once the bonding bill reached the floor of the house. Montevideo Assistant City Manager Angie Steinbach said, “When the house voted on the approval of these homes, there was a unanimous vote, which is something special.”

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