The fifth annual Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council Golf Tournament had ended in a four-way tie Saturday by the time all of the teams made their way to the clubhouse at the Chatata Valley Golf Course.
The winning team of Bobby Ruth, Jeremy Govero, Steven Rogers and Taylor Hamon finished with a score of 57 after winning a scorecard playoff on one of the par five holes.
The tournament attracted 118 players, only two short of filling out 30 four-man teams — the maximum number tournament officials said they could handle. The winning team earned $400. Fifth place won $300 and $200 went to the foursome that finished in ninth place.
Bradley County Veterans Affairs Services Director Larry McDaris said the tournament continues to grow each year.
“It gets bigger every year,” he said. “I’ve heard we’ll make more money this year than before.”
The SETVH Council produces the fundraiser every year to support the proposed veterans home at 1940 Westland Drive.
McDaris said the effort is regaining momentum now that state officials have selected the official civil engineer of record.
“The civil engineer is working with Richmond Surveying to satisfy all of the state’s concerns,” McDaris said. “It is a tedious process.”
He said the city of Cleveland, Bradley County and the anonymous donor are still committed to their share of funding the home. In addition, the Healthy Community Initiative granted the county VA office $50,000 to spend on the additional surveys and groundwork required by the state.
State and local officials agreed in March to continue the design process to see if the state’s objections could be eliminated.
Three contractors and their families, Robert Wright, Steve Williams and Thomas Williams donated 27 acres for the home in February 2010. City and county officials were notified Veterans Day weekend of 2013 that the State Real Estate and Asset Management office rejected the property for four reasons. Since then, local interests have been urging STREAM to reconsider the site.
According to STREAM, the property is a flag lot, it lacks visibility and the amount of fill dirt needed to correct a 1 percent grade was more than the $1.8 million budgeted for site development.
The city of Cleveland has committed to extending Kile Lane to the property to eliminate the issue of the flag lot. In addition, the three donors said they and other companies have volunteer equipment and labor ready to start work on removing any obstacles on the property.
New federal guidelines have increased the cost of construction from the low $20 million range to more than $30 million. In order to move the project forward past the design phase, the local share has increased. The original requirement was $7 million in local contributions, which had been met through a $3 million anonymous donation and commitments of $2.2 million each from the city of Cleveland and Bradley County.
Individuals who want to support the home can make contributions directly to the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council on the Internet at http://www.setvh.org.