POST FALLS Idahos senators were part of a bipartisan group on Wednesday that urged funding for state veterans homes, including one planned for Post Falls. Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo were among the lawmakers who sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies urging it to support funding for care for veterans. "We are very encouraged about this support for funding of veteran homes," said Post Falls veteran Len Crosby, among those who have worked on the Post Falls project. "We have a great site (in Riverbend Commerce Park) thanks to the Jacklin family, and we're trying to convey to the VA that we are shovel-ready." For fiscal year 2017, just 10 of the 57 highest priority projects were funded, leaving a backlog of facilities requiring upgrades or new construction. Idaho has nearly $29 million in construction projects on the priority list, including construction of a new 56-bed facility in Post Falls. Crosby said architectural drawings for the Post Falls facility have been completed. The state submitted the final application for the project last fall. "The good news is that Idaho has done a good job of building veteran homes in the state and better than most states," Crosby said. "But the funding goes first to existing facilities that need upgrades, then to new construction." Crosby said state officials are hopeful the Post Falls site will be funded within the next five years. "That depends on how much funding Congress provides," he said. Risch and Crapo wrote that state veterans homes have a long history of helping ensure veterans continue to receive the respect they earned through their service. "The growing backlog of more than 100 construction and renovation projects across the country, the majority of which have already secured matching state appropriations, presents challenges to meeting the long-term care needs of these veterans, particularly in rural states or states lacking alternate VA-certified facilities," the letter states. The Post Falls facility will become Idaho's fourth veterans home. Other homes are in Lewiston, Boise and Pocatello.