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Study on closure of VA hospital in Hot Springs released

HOT SPRINGS (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs has released the results of a study that looks at the impact that relocating services and closing the historic hospital in Hot Springs would have on veterans and nearby towns.

The report from Labat Environmental considers whether a plan proposed by the VA or five other alternatives would be best for the region.

VA officials have proposed shuttering their Hot Springs campus at the historic Battle Mountain Sanitarium and transitioning their long-term care services to Rapid City.

The report shows that the alternative preferred by the VA Black Hills Health Care System would have an estimated 30-year cost of over $148.5 million, the cheapest of the studied options.

Veterans have vehemently opposed the closure arguing that Hot Springs' tranquil environment is crucial for vulnerable veterans.