WASHINGTON – A long delayed modern medical clinic for veterans in Pahrump is back on track, Nevada lawmakers said Tuesday following a meeting with Veterans Affairs officials.
Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Steven Horsford said they have new hope that construction will begin this fall on a facility next to Desert View Hospital in the town 70 miles west of Las Vegas.
Despite fits and starts over the past two years, Reid and Horsford, both Democrats, said they got assurances the project will move forward.
They met in Reid’s office with VA officials led by Joan Moody, assistant secretary for congressional and legislative affairs.
“The bottom line is, we will get an answer very soon on when construction can begin,” Horsford said. “They gave us a timeline and we will hold them to the timeline. Just know it is going to be as quickly as possible.”
The project has required additional approvals in Washington because construction bids came in higher than a threshold for local sign-off. The project seeks to build a 9,948-square-foot clinic, more than double a 4,500-square-foot temporary clinic now in use.
There are about 8,000 veterans in Nye County, of which about 6,000 live in Pahrump.
“Veterans in Pahrump have earned the right to have access to the same VA healthcare as veterans living in Las Vegas do,” Horsford and Reid, the Senate majority leader, said in a joint statement after the meeting.
Horsford had received VA assurances previously that the project approval was in the pipeline only to see it fade in the bureaucracy while he said his inquiries would get the run-around. He said officials Tuesday gave no explanation for past delays but committed to advance the project.
“The people in the room assured us this can get done and it will get done,” he said. “I got straight answers that I will hold those accountable for following through and meeting the timeline they indicated.”
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau chief Steve Tetreault at 202-783-1760 or STetreault@stephensmedia.com Follow @STetreaultDC on Twitter