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Veterans Affairs study ranks Bemidji 10th

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A state Department of Veterans Affairs-commissioned study finds 17 Minnesota cities suitable for a new veterans home.

Of the 17, Bemidji ranked 10th based on a number of criteria used in the study, conducted by Engan Associates and Ulteig of Willmar.

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"Minnesota's veterans expect and deserve the best possible services to meet their needs within the context of the finite resources of the state of Minnesota and the U.S. government," states the study, "Community Identification Study for a New Minnesota Veterans Home."

The most important criteria, it said, was to be located near existing VA services, such as a major medical center of Community-Based Outpatient Clinic.

"The specific site is important," it also said. State and federal agencies are "looking for a buildable site with full urban utilities and clear visible access to the greater community."

Based on a number of criteria, including travel time to a VA medical center or VA clinic, the study rankings and scores were:

1 -- Little Falls, 10

2 -- Brainerd, 10

3 -- Crosby, 15

4 -- Montevideo, 19

5 -- Willmar, 20

6 -- Paynesville, 21

7 -- Aitkin, 23

8 -- Olivia, 25

9 -- New Ulm, 26

10 -- Bemidji, 28

11 -- Bagley, 30

12 -- Moose Lake, 34

13 -- Blue Earth, 37

14 -- Hibbing, 37

15 -- Virginia, 39

16 -- Grand Rapids, 41

17 -- Deer River, 44

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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