• St. Johns County offers VA a building, has yet to hear back

    By: Lorena Inclán


    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -  The Department of Veterans Affairs had until 5 p.m. Friday to let St. Johns County know whether it was going to accept its offer to move to into a brand-new county building still under construction.  

    But county leaders said they have yet to get a response. County leaders have offered the VA space in their new facility at no extra cost to them. 

    The new facility is being built off San Sebastian View and that offer to be housed still stands but the VA is running out of time. As one veteran put it, right now it's crisis mode. 

    St. Johns County Veterans Council chair Bill Dudley was right. 

    “I doubt that we will see an answer today,” Dudley said. 

    Friday came and went with no word from the VA.

    “It's a no-brainer. It's the best deal for the VA that they could possibly have offered to them and to not to accept it leaves the veterans and certainly leaves me just scratching my head,” Dudley said. 

    Despite the county administrator sending a letter to the VA a year ago explaining the time constraints, the county still has no response. For Dudley and thousands of other veterans, the silence is frustrating. 

    “We don't have an interim site, we don't have a permanent site and we got a lot of questions about what's going to happen with our health care,” Dudley said. 

    A county spokesperson said over the last couple days, the VA has opened up a bidding process with contractors for a temporary building. It is still unclear whether that building is here on that site or somewhere else. By March 31, the current VA building has to vacate. 

    The VA released this statement: “The Department of Veterans Affairs will continue with the current competitive procurement. The County is welcome to respond to VA’s ad for temporary space which was published on August 7, 2014, in Fed Biz Ops and it is open to all those meeting the VA’s requirements set forth in the advertisement.”

    As of Monday, Aug. 11, the county still had not heard back from the VA about the building. 

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