The old saying about a rock and a hard place seems to apply to the escalating costs expected for building a new State Veterans Home at Hot Springs.
Dennis Daugaard is calling lawmakers back for a special session on June 22 to consider making more money available.
Officials in the Daugaard administration learned last month that the $41.3 million from federal and state cash and state bonds likely isn’t enough.
Four sets of bids ranged from $42.7 million — submitted by Scull Construction of Rapid City — to as much as $46.2 million.
Those bids didn’t reflect various alternates, such as a maintenance building, special roof and ambulance port, which together would add $1 million or more to each company’s price.
The original legislation was passed in 2011 for the project. The federal Veterans Administration was pledging $23 million, which Lt. Gov. Matt Michels and other state officials have described as the largest-ever grant for a state veterans home.
State government planned a bond issue to cover the rest, with the bonds to be repaid by federal VA daily stipends and Medicaid.
But the state Department of Veterans Affairs came back to the Legislature during the 2013 session and asked for more spending authority and more state funding.
The bond issue was to be expanded and $1.3 million of state cash was requested for a bio-mass fuel system.
That’s where the saying about a rock and a hard place came in.