I think the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ decision to construct a new VA health care building is absurd.
First of all, there is nothing wrong with the old building, especially when $8 million was invested in recent years in its renovation. There is no need for a new facility.
If purchasing land for almost $3 million and building a new building for approximately $125 million isn’t wasteful spending, I don’t know what is. But, most importantly, the place targeted for this new building is unacceptable.
The proposal is to buy Deshon Woods from Butler Township — land intended to be used as a park and currently is public land. Destruction of these woods for this purpose is intolerable.
I do not think the township should sell Deshon Woods to the VA. If the land isn’t sold, the VA will build somewhere else.
The people of Butler Township should not allow the township commisioners to sell this land for the VA facility. The township should hold a meeting on this subject to gauge public reactions.
Also, there are several sites already for sale and clear that would be good places to put the new building, if it must be built at all. The sites include:
(1) The vacant land at the intersection of Route 68 and Meridian Road, across from the Sheetz store.
(2) The stretch of land on Duffy Road that has a sign that reads “The Woods at Duffy Trails” but is again up for sale.
(3) The land on Hansen Avenue where the former Pullman Standard factory stood.
I do not think that the VA should build this new facility at all, but if it must be built, it should not be on the Deshon Woods property. I am enraged that the VA would even consider building the new building on the Deshon Woods site.
Readers might recall my letter earlier this year on the same subject, condemning even the consideration of Deshon Woods. Now I am wondering what happened to the three other sites the VA originally was considering.
What was wrong with them?