VA hires company to study SD reconfiguration plan

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen a Nebraska company to study its plan to reconfigure its health care system in western South Dakota's Black Hills.

The VA chose Labat Environmental of Bellevue, Nebraska. The analysis will study potential environmental, cultural, historic, social and economic effects of the plan. It could take up to 1 ½ years to complete.

The VA has served veterans in Hot Springs for more than a century but now wants to move some services to Rapid City. The Hot Springs VA hospital that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places would be shuttered, and an outpatient clinic would be opened.

Many veterans and members of South Dakota's congressional delegation oppose the plan.

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