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Land acquired for future veterans home

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Nearly 30 acres of land in Arlington has officially been acquired for the future West Tennessee Veterans Home.

Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) announced last week the transfer of around 28 acres from the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to the Department of Veteran Services.

The 144-bed home will provide nursing and rehabilitation therapy. It will be constructed behind the Arlington Sports Complex on Memphis-Arlington Road west of Tennessee 385 and north of Interstate 40.

 

Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) announced last week the transfer of around 28 acres from the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to the Department of Veteran Services.

Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) announced last week the transfer of around 28 acres from the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to the Department of Veteran Services.

 

“These men and women, our veterans, served all of us as though we were worth dying for,” said Norris. “So let us demonstrate here and now that we are worth living for too. Let us finish the task so that they may live with dignity. It’s the least we can do for them. And you know what? We will.”

Holly Swogger, West Tennessee Veterans Home Inc. president, said the facility is badly needed because the tri-county region of Shelby, Tipton and Fayette has more than 70,000 veterans (more than any other area in the state), and they don’t have access to a nearby veterans home.

Such homes provide skilled nursing services for those who need long-term care or rehabilitation services. Currently, the nearest such facility is more than an hour’s drive away in Humboldt, limiting patients’ access and families’ visitation.

The veterans’ home in Arlington will be designed to house military veterans in a dozen 12-person “pod” arrangements.

Currently, there are Tennessee State Veterans Homes in Murfreesboro, Humboldt and Knoxville.

The veterans’ home should be a financial windfall for Arlington. The $70 million construction project (not including the land acquisition) is expected to generate more than 240 full-time jobs with an annual payroll of more than $7 million.

Projections also show the purchase of more than $4 million annually in goods and services.

Many of those employees may move to Arlington and add to the town’s tax base, Swogger said. And restaurants and retail stores should spring up to meet the needs of more residents and visitors to the veterans’ home. The facility has a planned project life for more than 30 years.

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