Assessment under way for national cemetery

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Environmental assessment has begun for the proposed National Veteran’s Cemetery adjacent to The American Village in Montevallo.

The assessment is required as part of the site selection process.

The Department of Veterans Affairs notified Congressman Spencer Bachus of its first meeting to plan the assessment recently.

The environmental assessment will ensure the land meets the soil type and topographical criteria necessary to support a large scale national cemetery such as the one proposed.

The engineering firm of MACTEC, an Atlanta-based company under contract with the VA, has been selected to do the assessment.

The Department of Veterans Affairs expects the environmental assessment to be complete by the end of the fiscal year.

&uot;The construction of the cemetery is significant for Alabama’s aging veteran population,&uot; Congressman Bachus said.

&uot;I am pleased to see the Department of Veterans Affairs steadily moving forward on this project.

&uot;It is only fitting those in Alabama who have served our country with honor are afforded a final resting place near their loved ones.&uot;

During 2003, the Department of Veterans Affairs was directed by Congress to establish a new cemetery in the Birmingham area, which currently has a population of 212,000 veterans who do not have practical access to a burial option in a national cemetery.

– Candace Parke