MADISON — Governor Scott Walker’s 2017-19 Capital Budget released today recommends investing about $18 million in Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) infrastructure, including at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King (WVH-King), the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery (SWVMC) in Union Grove and the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery (CWVMC) in King.
“Since being appointed Secretary by Governor Walker earlier this month, I have spent much of my time assessing the operations and facilities at our Wisconsin Veterans Homes, particularly at King,” WDVA Secretary Daniel J. Zimmerman said. “We are committed to providing the best possible care to our nation’s heroes and these investments will help us achieve our goal. I believe there is no better way for me to return the favor to those who have so selflessly earned it than by providing the absolute best care in the best possible setting to our members at King.”
Highlights of the Capital Budget include:
- $2.4 million to make improvements to the water supply system at the WVH-King to ensure the cleanest water is supplied to those who live there. The average daily water need of the Home is approximately 150,000 gallons which is used for laundry, food preparation, bathing and member care, and general consumption.
- $3 million to modernize the electrical systems at the WVH-King.
- $7 million to upgrade the food service system at the WVH-King. Improvements would include new cooking and meal delivery equipment in each of the dining rooms and the units where members dine, as well as safety and cosmetic improvements throughout all food service areas.
- $3.7 million to raise, realign, clean and reset granite headstones at the SWVMC to meet National Cemetery Administration standards.
- $1.8 million to construct a crypt burial garden to meet National Cemetery Administration standards, an irrigation system, and a flag plaza assembly area at the CWVMC.
Zimmerman was appointed as Secretary by Governor Scott Walker on February 2, 2017 and will regularly work from the Wisconsin Veterans Homes. On his first day as Secretary, Zimmerman began his assessment of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, meeting staff, being briefed on operations, and getting a first-hand look at the facilities. He received an overview on operations including quality of care standards and the budget while also learning about plans for facility and campus improvements.
The WVH-King is one of three 24-hour skilled nursing care facilities operated by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. The WVH-King is a long term and rehabilitative care facility caring for veterans, a veteran’s spouse, a veteran’s widow and Gold Star Parents located near Waupaca on Rainbow Lake.
The WDVA operates three State Veterans Cemeteries that serve as a lasting tribute to those who served in the armed forces. The CWVMC is Wisconsin’s first state veterans cemetery. It opened in June of 1888 with the burial of a Civil War veteran. The SWVMC is currently the 5th busiest state veterans cemetery in the country.
The 2017-19 Governor’s Capital Budget recommendations can be found here.