Published: Apr 22, 2014 5:10 PM EDT

Collier County, Fla., - Collier County leaders are fighting to bring a Veterans nursing home to the area.

 

The $47million facility would be the first in the state since 2010.  Collier County is proposing it be built on a 20-acre site near Ave Maria.

 

The state recently ranked Collier and Lee Counties as the most at-need areas for a new VA nursing home.  There are currently six VA Nursing homes across the state.  The closest one is in Port Charlotte. 

 

"There are a large portion of Vietnam veterans here that in the years to come are going to need nursing homes," said Gary Vincent, manager with Collier County Veteran Services.

 

The most recent data shows Collier County has more than 18 thousand veterans over the age of 65.  In Lee County, There more than 32 thousand veterans over the age of 65.  

 

"Personally I hope I never end up in one, but it may happen," said Vietnam Veteran Robert Knee.

 

Knee says having a VA hospital nearby is crucial to veterans who served this country and to their families.

 

"Something down here would be more convenient and very much appreciated by the veterans," said Knee.

 

The facility would be paid for by state money and federal grants.  Collier County is also pitching in $500 thousand.  Wink News learned the nursing home would have 120 beds and create about 200 jobs. 

 

Eight Counties are currently bidding for the facility.