‘Questionable wisdom’

I applaud the combined effort of the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce, Hastings Economic Development Corp., the city of Hastings, Adams County and the many other supporters who have worked diligently to make Hastings the new home for the Central Nebraska Veterans Home.

This project has been reported to be utilizing $47 million in state funds; $80 million in federal funds; and, now $1.25 million in city funds.

This means that more than $128 million will be expended on a new facility, currently proposed for the corner of U.S. Highway 281 and Lochland Road East.

This is a great thing for jobs, and for Hastings.

However, I question the wisdom in building a new facility while there sits, just west of town, a property that, if rehabilitated, would stand for another 125 years: the Hastings Regional Center, which first opened its doors in 1888.

I understand the bid requirements state a new facility is to be built to accommodate modern conveniences. If this $128 million were invested into the HRC property, it could be modernized to meet — if not exceed — the stated requirements. And, if this $128 million were put into the existing structures, jobs and Hastings would still benefit; funds and space would be maximized; and a historic fixture would be preserved, not razed.

So, I would encourage all parties involved to reconsider the site and push for the HRC site for the reasons listed above and ask for like-minded citizens to speak out about this.

Mike Glassmyer

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