Readers Respond

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Letters to the Editor

An opportunity to serve BV veterans

To the Editor:

The Iowa 2006 Legislature has established a county Veterans grant program (HF2797) That would provide up to $10,000 to a county to assist in with improving veterans services. The legislature is targeting counties without a full-time director. The program would require a county to:

* Submit a plan for how it would utilize the grant to improve services for veterans.

* Put up dollar for dollar matching funds.

* Submit a follow-up report stating the impact of the grant on increasing veterans services.

This is a program that Buena Vista County could utilize to improve its veterans services when the new jail is completed. Additional space can provide the following improvements.

* A three-day-a-week director of veterans affairs together with the present two-day-a-week services officer will create a five day-a-week veterans service center located in the courthouse.

* A full-time secretary.

* A privacy situation will be corrected.

* A waiting room will remove benches from the hallway which would coincide with State Fire Marshall recommendations.

* It would enhance chapter 35B of the Iowa Code.

The expected impact of the above expansion recommendations are:

* It will facilitate a regional office setting with all veterans services in one location.

* Hopefully increase the number of veterans being helped with their claims here, thus enlarging economic growth of the area.

* It will enlarge the possibility of establishing a speciality-doctors clinic in Storm Lake, within the next five years. A request has been submitted for consideration.

* Overall, it will expand Buena Vista County Veterans affairs service office to a five-day-work-week, thus making the office more available for the veterans when they are seeking assistance.

- Lloyd Galbraith, Storm Lake