A public-private partnership could be used to fund a new VA hospital in Omaha.
VA Secretary Robert McDonald wants Omaha to be the test site for a new public-private partnership model. $56 million of the $136 million cost would come from the federal government, with the rest being private and local money.
Second District Congressman Brad Ashford says there are three parts to the plan. The first is the new medical center.
"The external structure is okay, it’s the interior that’s in terrible shape and needs renovation, and there have been renovations but there need to be more. It allows the hospital, then, to infill and do some other things in that building because the clinic will be moved out in to the new building. And then secondarily, the oversight, and third, the public-private partnership."
Ashford says he and First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry will introduce legislation that allows such a partnership. Ashford hopes a plan will be in place by July to start construction next year on the 157,000 square foot facility.
The new hospital would be built on land at the existing site, in midtown Omaha.