News release from Department of Veterans Services
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder, Department of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Debra Payne and Department of General Services Deputy Commissioner John Hull in partnership with Tennessee State Veterans Home Executive Director Ed Harries formally announced the site of the future West Tennessee State Veterans Home today at 11293 Memphis Arlington Road in Arlington. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville) and Representative Ron Lollar (R-Bartlett) support the milestone announcement made in their district.
“More than 214,000 Tennessee Veterans are over the age of 65 years old, which is 42 percent of our state’s Veteran population,” Grinder said. “We are fortunate to have four existing Tennessee State Veterans Homes, but we know more of these high-quality resources are needed to serve our aging Veteran population. Shelby County has the largest Veteran population in the state which exceeds 56,000 Veterans.”
On Monday, June 27, Governor Bill Haslam signed the Transfer of Jurisdiction for 28.65 acres from the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to the Department of Veterans Services for the purpose of establishing the West Tennessee State Veterans Home. The transfer included an interdepartmental payment of $380,000 for the parcel previously used for a portion of the former Arlington Developmental Center.
“This transfer is a win-win both for Tennessee’s veterans and people with disabilities,” Payne said. “The proceeds from this transfer will go into a trust fund that will benefit West Tennesseans with intellectual disabilities, further supporting them to pursue fulfilling and rewarding lives.”
The future facility is planned to include 144 beds and is expected to cost $70,000,000. Construction of the project is contingent on the availability of federal funding from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) State Home Construction Grants Program. Federal funding is required to pay for 65 percent of construction costs with the remaining 35 percent coming from combined state and local funds.
“The State of Tennessee is committed to establish a State Veterans Home in West Tennessee,” Norris said. “Local support continues to build and I believe this announcement will continue to fuel local awareness and fund raising.”
“As a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, I am proud Arlington will have a part in caring for the folks that care for us,” Lollar said.
There are currently four Tennessee State Veterans Homes to include one in Murfreesboro, Humboldt, Knoxville and Clarksville.
“Caring for Tennessee’s Veterans is a privilege for our staff and we believe that each resident has a fascinating story to tell which enriches each one of our campuses across the state,” Harries said. “Although we cannot predict when federal funding will be available to allow us to open another Home, we look forward to starting the design process which will allow us to be ready when that time comes.”