Dear Editor,

To the concerned members of the Buffalo community, I am a long since removed resident but I would like to address the possibility of a new health care facility for veterans in this community.

The arguments against this facility that I have seen and heard have been concerned with staffing, the limited pool of available qualified members of the community that could staff the facility, available housing for new members to the community, and the negative impact on current Johnson County health care facilities.

While the possibility remains that current members of the community may be hired to staff the facility, it is more likely that this federal facility will be staffed as most federal positions are, by the Office of Personnel Management employment announcements selecting from a pool of applicants throughout the entire county. I have driven around the small community of Buffalo, and I have noticed many homes for sale and have seen apartment complexes with vacancy notices as well, so it does not appear that housing is much of a problem. In fact, this kind of addition to a community usually results in new home builds and continued employment for local contractors and builders. Any concerns regarding negative impact to the current health care availability can be easily pacified with a little research in how the VA does business. While the VA does employ health care professionals in all aspects, the VA also utilizes contracted physicians, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals to augment staffing, those providers generally live in the same community that they serve.

Finally, while I will concede that it is not likely that the facility would be built by a local contractor, it is extremely likely that much of the work will be done by local subcontractors from Buffalo and the surrounding communities, resulting in a significant economic boost to the community. It should also be understood that the monies used to build, staff and maintain this facility are tax payers dollars, your money that you can fight for or argue against and send to some other community

Roger Betz

Helena, Montana

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