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Veterans cemetery expansion expected

The Southern Nevada Veterans’ Cemetery in Boulder City could be getting a $5.78 million federal grant to help pay for a 7-acre expansion needed at the facility.

According to the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, the cemetery expansion is expected to be one of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ 12 “conforming projects” in fiscal year 2022.

“The VA grant opportunity for up to $5,780,000 will help expand 7 acres at (the) Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, located in the southwest portion of the property in the open desert behind where the current burial sections stop,” said Terri Hendry, communications director for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. “The state of Nevada has already set aside $607,271 in state matching funds for the project.”

The cemetery is expected to need extra space by 2023.

Currently, the planned expansion includes 12 columbarium walls with 5,376 niches and seven burial sections with 11,481 in-ground cremation plots.

“We can’t thank our VA partners enough for recognizing the importance of this expansion,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak in a press release. “With this VA grant opportunity, we are one step closer to ensuring we are able to keep the promise made to our Southern Nevada veterans that they will be provided with a dignified and honorable final resting place when their time comes.”

The design phase is expected to begin in January or February with construction expected to start in November 2022.

“Thank you to our governor and state legislators for supporting us by making sure we had the required state match in place to make us eligible and competitive to receive this funding,” said Kat Miller, director of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, in a press release. “The Southern Nevada Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery is the second busiest cemetery of its kind in the nation and this funding makes sure we are able to keep up with the demand when our services are needed.”

The cemetery expansion is one of 100 projects placed on the Veteran Affairs’ priority list for fiscal year 2022. Of those 100, 43 were fully conforming projects, and the Veterans Affairs office said 12 projects were expected to be funded. The remaining 57 are termed nonconforming because they lack the required state legislation or matching funds to be eligible for federal funding.

The cemetery on Veterans Memorial Drive has 79 acres of land owned and maintained by the state.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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