In November 2018, Redwood County was informed that its proposed veterans cemetery project would not be funded in the coming year, but it was given the impression that things could change when the National Cemetery Administration announced its funding allocations in the following year.
To make its case, county leaders did what it could, as they hosted a site tour for the state department of veterans affairs commissioner and raised the issue with Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson who had been named to the veterans affairs committee.
Surely, 2019 would be the year the project, that has exceeded a decade of effort, would be funded.
Well, it wasn’t.
In a letter dated Dec. 10, 2019 from Larry Herke, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs commissioner, Redwood County was informed the National Cemetery Administration “would not be funding the Redwood County project this year.”
While Herke called the news “disappointing” in the letter, he added the state department of veterans affairs “remains committed to the development of a new state veterans cemetery in Redwood County and will continue to work toward its approval.”
In the letter, the commissioner added the department continues to believe this project is not a matter of if, but when this proposed project will be funded and will continue to be actively involved in pursuing future funding.
The Redwood County commissioners will discuss this further with state leaders during its Feb. 4 board meeting.
The board did demonstrate its commitment to the project by approving a new purchase agreement for the land where the proposed project would be placed during its Jan. 6 meeting.
The county board has also improved the road that passes near the cemetery, with state funding assistance, and has set aside $1 million for the project.