MANATEE -- A committee evaluating sites for a new, $30-million-plus state nursing home for military veterans, toured two possibilities Tuesday in Manatee County.
The committee will announce its final decision next week about a facility site, which could create up to 190 jobs, said Lee Washington, county veterans services officer.
The committee looked at county-owned sites at 3009-3333 Lena Road on the south side of State Road 64 about 1.6 miles east of Exit 220 along Interstate 75 and at 7101 Cortez Road West, Washington said.
"It's a great opportunity for the county as a whole," he said Wednesday.
The $30 million construction cost is typical of such facilities, according to Steve Murray, communications director and spokesman for the Site Selection Committee at the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs. The state has six such facilities now.
The state will pay 35 percent of the cost while the federal government will pay 65 percent, said Murray.
The 12-member committee questioned how well the community will accept the nursing home, asked about arts and culture, and even discussed the Bradenton Marauders minor league baseball team, said Washington.
About 40,000 retired and active vets already live in the county, he said.
Five other counties are vying for the 120-bed nursing home facility, which will be a joint state-federal project, said Andy Guyre, county human services division manager, whose staff compiled information submitted
as part of a formal application process.
Competitors include St. Lucie, Putnam, Polk, Collier and Marion counties, Washington said.
The committee visiting Manatee was led by Al Carter, deputy executive director for the department of veterans' affairs, Murray said.
Evaluating members included: Murray; Sue Farkash, department management analyst; Bobby Carbonell, legislative and cabinet affairs director; and Elizabeth Barton, director for the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans' Nursing Home in Port Charlotte, Murray said.
The department scheduled a public meeting from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Tuesday at Mary Grizzle Building, 11351 Ulmerton Road, Largo, to discuss which site would be best for a seventh state veterans' nursing home.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.