The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cemetery in Sarasota, Florida has had its problems over the last couple of years. It appears those problems may be at an end and the construction of the cemetery looks like it might be back on track. According to U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Sarasota), he has been asking VA Sec. Eric Shinseki to do what is necessary to get the cemetery back under construction since September.
Finally, a new construction contract was granted for the development of phase 1B of the Sarasota National Cemetery, which will include:
- 11,500 crypt grave sites;
- 16,000 cremain sites;
- An administration building with electronic grave site locator;
- A maintenance compound;
- Two committal service shelters;
- A flag and/or assembly area;
- A memorial wall; and
- Avenue flags.
The cemetery was originally supposed to start construction in May of 2009 and be completed in May of 2011. The original contractors however, were disqualified. They were unable to meet some of the contract’s vital fundamentals. Now the contract was granted to a service disabled veteran-owned business at a value of $15.9 million. Tentative dates for the ground breaking are late January into February, with an estimated end date of late July or August, 2012.
Phase 1B will cover 50 acres, which will result in creating an additional 8 years of burial services. For the almost 400,000 veterans and dependents in the surrounding 8 communities qualifying for burial, completing construction on the Sarasota National Cemetery will be a welcome relief. Rep. Buchanan sees the local veterans in the area being owed an obligation, and having this cemetery completely is one large step toward meeting that obligation.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.