Lawmakers to VA: ‘Move quickly’ on putting archives in Dayton

Republicans Mike Turner of Dayton and Warren Davidson of Troy joined both U.S. senators from Ohio Monday to ask the federal government to provide “an update” on plans to locate the archives of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the Dayton VA Medical Center campus.

In a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, the lawmakers wrote “we hope VA will move quickly to follow through” on a memorandum of agreement signed by former VA Secretaries Robert McDonald and David Shulkin to locate the VA archives in Dayton.

“The greater Dayton area has established an organization, which has made meaningful advancements towards raising capital for the project,” the lawmakers wrote, adding that Dayton officials who signed the memorandum of agreement “have raised more than $65,000 toward the project.”

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“We acknowledge the complexities involved in establishing a new office, and we appreciate the progress made thus far,” the lawmakers wrote.

In addition to Turner and Davidson, the letter was signed by Republican Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown.

The lawmakers released the letter along with a statement from Jeff Hoagland, president and chief executive officer of the Dayton Development Coalition saying the history office would be “a big honor for the Dayton region and for our veterans. It will also serve as a tourist attraction and assist economic development in West Dayton.”

Two years ago, McDonald said his agency planned locate its national archives in two historic buildings on the VA center’s sprawling West Dayton campus.

McDonald said the agency’s massive archives will be housed in the national headquarters facility which was built in 1871, and the clubhouse which dates to 1881.

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