Grand Island Fights for Renovated State Veterans Home, Not New

Grand Island leaders haven't given up on retaining the state veterans home instead of seeing the state build a replacement in Kearney.   Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek is preparing a counterproposal to the plan approved by Gov. Dave Heineman. The state plan already has been sent to federal officials in Washington, where it awaits funding.   Grand Island officials say the counterproposal would cost $80 million to update and expand the local facility, compared with the $121 million needed to build new in Kearney. An early version of the counterproposal was directly sent to the Veterans Affairs Department in Washington, but VA officials have since said the decision about where to build rests with state officials.