.

Do You Support Building a New Veterans Home?

Question 4 on the Nov. 6 ballot asks residents whether the state should borrow $94 million to 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 renovate and used rehabilitation services, allowing residents to get treatment on campus instead of traveling to the veterans hospital in Providence.

Not all are in favor of borrowing such a sum while the state economy is still struggling to recover from recession. The Providence 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 supported veterans."

Gov. Chafee acknowledged the recovering economy, but noted that for the first time in 72 months, all five indicators for unemployment 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.

Doctor October 25, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I am a veteran and have visited the current Bristol home and it is gross so yes, I support it.
Still Hope October 25, 2012 at 07:38 PM
This is a garbage topic to discuss. If you don't support this initiative, you are deemed unpatriotic and don't respect our servicemen. If you approve this question you are sinking a HUGE chunk of money into a 'non-necessity' at a time when we just can't afford it. $94M for 240 is $400k per veteran. Come to Woonsocket, for that money, I'll get each vet a fully furnished 4BR/2BA single family with garage and swimming pool.
Mike Kind October 25, 2012 at 08:22 PM
There are some things that are worth making a sacrifice to fund. Given the level of sacrifice made by those served by this facility, this is one of them.
Maxin October 26, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Do what I do Say you support it then vote the other way... The same thing I do too republicans that call me on the phone to vote for Mitt, you know I must have had 5 NRA calls to support Mitt I don't even own a gun. I tell them they can count on me then I vote the other way... You no I am not a democrat but from the radical behavior I have seen from the Republican in the past couple years I just can not follow them this time. This deficit problem is so easy to fix it is the politicians that make it hard. If every state law was voted on by the people instead of representatives we would have safer more fair laws. Same with federal laws we all need to be involved in our laws not having a group of representatives making them up for us. I am going to start a petition to change the way laws are created and voted in this great state of RI, You know we should start this here in RI after all we were the first Colony to break away from English Law. We the people got to get up off our fat lazy asses and let this country and government know we are taking it back.
Bruce Berry October 26, 2012 at 09:51 AM
if you talk to the journal they to are for this bond. nice to know you can't always believe what you read!!!!
Chris12 October 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM
There are affordable housing plats being built around the state. I hope our veterans are given preference when renting these units.
Yvette M Ayotte October 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM
I think we should take care of OUR vets!!!
English first October 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Lets see some of those gross photos.
MJ October 28, 2012 at 02:06 AM
First of all, I would like to say thank you to our vets. What confuses me about this referendum is Why 94 Million,+ interest = 138million, then there are always cost increases & cost overruns, If the new building is being built behind the old one, is the land already paid for? And Why ten years? Do we the people get any details? I would love to help the vets, but do not feel we can afford it at this time. In theory is sounds wonderful but in reality, RI is already broke.
nancy ann bartholomew November 02, 2012 at 01:32 AM
i'd guess that your not a vet , we could afford it if the people in rhode island had enough sense to vote in new politicians and not the same old ones that never do anything that doesn't help them and their buddies.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »