Chaffee Crossing in running for Arkansas Veterans Home

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 119 views 

Chaffee Crossing is in the running, along with Benton, Jacksonville and Russellville, for a new Arkansas Veterans Home.

According to Ivy Owen, executive director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, a sub-committee of the the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs and the Legislative Veterans Home Task Force narrowed the selection to the four sites yesterday (Aug. 5).

Members of the task force, which include Sen. Jane English of North Little Rock, Sen. Bobby Pierce, D-Sheridan, Sen. Jim Hendren, R-Gravette, Rep. George McGill, R-Fort Smith, Rep. John Charles Edwards of Little Rock and Rep. Kim Hammer of Benton, will tour the proposed site at Chaffee Crossing on Aug. 21.

The FCRA submitted a proposal in June that included a donation of up to 30 acres of land for the veterans home near the future I-49. A proposed site for Camp Hope for Heroes, a non-profit that helps transitioning and homeless veterans become self-sufficient, will be located in the same vicinity as the veterans home.

"Our proposal meets all of the criteria requested by the search committee: available land, proximity to motels, restaurants and shopping, excellent health care and emergency medical care facilities, access to intestates and public transportation and above all else, overwhelming public acceptance," Owen said.

Should Chaffee Crossing be selected, it would be the second veterans home in the area. Another veterans home opened to its first patient on June 21, 2006, at the former home of Washington Regional Medical Center on College Avenue in Fayetteville, adjacent to the long-time Veterans Administration Hospital.

The former Washington Regional facility now houses not only the the 108-bed skilled car nursing facility for veterans, but also a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences satellite campus, known as UAMS Northwest.