Veterans Affairs considers leasing facility
By Robert Cloud and Angie Landsverk
While the state has expressed renewed interest in using Lakeview Manor for housing homeless veterans, Waupaca County Chair Dick Koeppen is reluctant.
Koeppen told the Waupaca County Post the county has already put the facility on the market and the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs wants to lease rather than buy it.
According to Jack Spierings, mayor of Weyauwega and Waupaca County Board member, DAV Secretary Daniel Zimmerman visited Weyauwega to discuss moving the 26 homeless veterans currently at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King to Lakeview Manor.
The building in King where they are currently housed, Ove Hall, is slated for demolition in July.
The DAV favors the former county nursing home in Weyauwega because it has a separate wing that could be used for women vets.
The move to Lakeview Manor would bring the maximum number of veterans in the program from 26 to 47.
Laundry, kitchen and housekeeping facilities at Lakeview would also allow for work opportunities for veterans.
Moving into this facility would also include having private rooms veterans would pay a small amount to rent after getting jobs and before moving and affording places of their own.
Lakeview Manor was “on the table” before as a site for these veterans, but there was no financing. Zimmerman said there is still no financing – the state would rent the facility for three years before buying it, Spierings said.
Koeppen noted Waupaca County rushed to relocate the facility’s residents early last year, only to have the DVA back out of the purchase due to financing.
In July 2017, federal funding was eliminated for the Veteran Housing and Recovery Programs in King and Union Grove.
The DVA withdrew its offer to lease Lakeview Manor, although the funding was extended in August 2017 for one more year.
“Now, they are in a hurry for us to make a decision,” Koeppen said. “However, as far as I’m concerned, we have a contract to sell with the Realtor and we have interested people.”