Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue vetoed a $3 million grant to the National Infantry Center and Soldier Center at Patriot Park on Wednesday.
Three years ago the National Infantry Foundation, which has bee raising public and private money from the $91 million project, asked the state for $15 million over three years. The state gave $5 million to museum last year. There was $3 million put in the budget this year by the General Assembly after Perdue left it out of the budget he presented to lawmakers.
State law gives the governor line-item veto power. The reason Perdue gave for the veto was the state had fulfilled its obligation to the project.
The foundation has raised more than $78 million and was counting on the additional state money to help fund construction, which started early last year, said Retired Maj. Gen. Jerry White, the president of the National Infantry Foundation.
"I don't think I have ever been as disappoiinted," said White, a former Fort Benning commanding general. "I have been involved in this project for 14 years and for him to say the state has fulfilled its obligation to this project bothers me because I don't think you can ever fulfill your obligation to the solider."
White said the project would march forward toward a March 20, 2009 opening.
"The governor has made his decision and I understand better than anybody in this work authority," White said. "It's up to me to lead this to success in another direction. We will drive on. And we will secure the objective."
Perdue will be in Columbus Friday to speak at the state Republican Convention at the Civic Center.