Sunday, May 22, 2011

Council says no to VA's development scheme

From the Queens Chronicle:

The City Council’s Committee on Veterans as well as the full council last week unanimously passed a resolution supporting the desire of many lawmakers and veterans advocates that a full-service hospital be built at the St. Albans VA site rather than giving a portion of the land to a private developer.

The St. Albans project has been a source of controversy for years, with the VA believing that replacing the existing facilities with a new nursing home, psychosocial rehabilitation domiciliary and expanded outpatient facilities is the way to go, despite consistent opposition from many veterans.

Resolution 422-A calls upon the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to completely renovate and utilize the existing St. Albans Community Living Center to provide a full-service VA hospital with an emergency room, a primary and extended care facility for female veterans and a comprehensive treatment facility with domiciliary for homeless veterans.

When asked if the resolution has caused the VA to change its position on the development of the site, Jennifer Sammartino, a spokeswoman for the VA said Monday, “The VA continues to evaluate development plans for the St. Albans campus. It is an ongoing process.”

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