Bradley County ranks fifth nationally on the needs list for a new home.
A request will be sent to the state building commission to have officials attend the next meeting to clarify the situation, according to Joe Davis, a member of the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council.
Three members of the Bradley County Commission Finance Committee join commissioner Mark Hall, a co-chair of the STVHC board.
Connie Wilson, Ed Elkins and Jeff Morelock were in attendance at the meeting held Thursday evening at the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce.
Cid Heidl, co-chairman of the STVHC board, said construction grants for two veterans homes moved off the project list.
“This moved everyone else up so we have to be able to meet deadlines for conditional funding,” Heidl explained.
Currently on the list are Fairfax, Va., Salem, Ore., Radford, Ky., and Montgomery and Bradley counties, according to Heidl.
With Bradley County moving up on the list to a 1.6 ranking, Joe Davis of the Bradley County Veteran’s Affairs said the reason was that two proposed Virginia homes were taken off the list because Virginia officials could not build three facilities at once.
Thirteen other proposed projects are on the list, but lower in priority according to the needs rankings.
“The state building commission wants to hire an architectural engineering firm to begin the first phase,” Heidl said.
That is where some of the confusion over needs in the state enters the picture.
Larry McDaris of the Bradley County Veteran’s Affairs Office said he has been working to determine exactly how much is needed.
According to McDaris, the initial process could begin at $530,000.
“The state building commission wants to know where we are standing behind our commitments,” McDaris said.
He said he has been working to find a more precise amount needed and continues to work toward the goal.
Timelines for planning are being met and according to McDaris, site testing is complete with environmental testing nearing completion and no major difficulties arising.
Heidl said at present, the project appears to be worth approximately $28 million.
Federal grant funding as well as committents from Bradley County and the city of Cleveland, fundraisers, veterans organizations and private donors are how money is being raised for the building which is expected to house 104 beds.
The proposed Bradley County home will be constructed on 27 acres of land which was donated.
It will be located off APD 40 near Gray Epperson’s auto sales business.
The Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home will serve veterans living in surrounding counties.
According to Wilson, he and his cohorts wanted to observe the meeting to learn more about the needs and where the project stands.