July 13, 2012
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is continuing consultation regarding the Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) for construction, redevelopment and management of a new multi-phase mixed use development on a portion of underutilized VA-owned property at the former VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Knoxville, Iowa. The proposed undertaking includes renovations and reuse of historic buildings to fulfill the EUL goals of improving and revitalizing the area. The proposed undertaking will broaden the range of support services to community members and veterans alike and offer a state-of-the-art, resident-friendly environment.
VA is seeking public comment and participation as part of its responsibility under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. The regulations implementing the law (36 CFR Part 800) require VA to seek ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects the proposed mixed use redevelopment may have on properties eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). On May 1, 2012, the Knoxville VAMC campus was listed on the NRHP. VA, in consultation with the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other consulting parties, has determined that the proposed undertaking may result in adverse effects to historic properties and is consulting to develop a Programmatic Agreement to mitigate these potential impacts - primarily renovation of historic buildings and new construction. A draft copy of the Programmatic Agreement can be found at the VA Medical Center, 1515 W. Pleasant Street Knoxville, IA 50138.
Anyone who wishes to do so is encouraged to provide comments on how the project may affect historic properties and ways that these effects may be avoided, minimized, or mitigated. Interested members of the public are also invited to volunteer to participate as consulting parties in the ongoing work toward the Programmatic Agreement. You may provide comments or request consulting party status until July 26, 2012, in writing to David Huffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.