The Putnam Examiner

Putnam Leg. Hesitantly Moves Forward on Veterans’ Cemetery

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Putnam County Veterans' Director Karl Rohde urges the county legislature to back plans for a veterans' cemetery at Wednesday night's meeting.

The Putnam County Legislature voted 7-1 to agree to take on the perpetual care, operations and maintenance of a proposed veterans’ cemetery in Southeast – should it be built – at a special full meeting at the Historic Courthouse in Carmel Wednesday night. Legislators, though, expressed concerns over financial and environmental issues and added wording to the resolution to ensure the project wouldn’t move forward without them having a second shot at it with more time to research the plan.

Legislator Dini LoBue voted no, citing financial concerns, while Legislator Anthony DiCarlo was absent.

The cemetery is proposed for a 100-acre parcel – which would be donated by Tenth Jam Development – located along John Simpson Road. The construction of the cemetery, expected to cost $5 million dollars, would be paid for with state and federal funding while the legislature would take on the perpetual cost of care and maintenance for the site but would receive $700 for each burial, officials say.

Even with the county legislature’s approval, the cemetery is still a long way from coming to fruition. A proposal for New York to become part of the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Cemetery Grants Program passed in the Senate but stalled in the Assembly, and may be brought up again next session.

“I’m interest in having one built in the Hudson Valley, either in Putnam or Dutchess or Westchester,” said Sen. Greg Ball, the bill’s sponsor in the Senate. “I don’t care where it goes in Putnam County or anywhere in the Senate district, as long as it gets built.”

While proponents have said the county may at least break even financially from the project, legislators were skeptical and worried it could end up becoming costly.  

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