Without question Augusta city leaders were enthusiastic about a new state veterans cemetery here in the Garden City,but not without questions and concerns about new maintenance and costs.
Former Mayor Bob Young says getting the state to build a veterans Cemetery in Augusta is an idea whose time has come.
“The veteran’s population is significant enough in this area and you’re looking at a 70 mile radius of Augusta do you want your love one buried in Milledgeville, or Glennville, or up at Fort Jackson, or at Canton, Georgia or would you like them buried here in town,” said Former Augusta Mayor Bob Young a leading advocate.
A commission committee voting to support the idea of the veterans cemetery here.
“I think it’s a great idea it’s good for our community to honor our veterans and have a state cemetery here in our community,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
But some commissioners worried, about who would keep up the cemetery, the city’s track record is not good.
The appearance of city cemeteries, is a constant source of complaints.
“Maintaining cemeteries is a problem we’re having right now I continue to get complaints about cemeteries we’re going to have a game plan on how we move forward,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Sean Frantom.
“The city has no responsibility to maintain it the state maintains the veterans cemeteries the budget for each cemetery is about 350 thousand dollars a year,” said Young.
The state would have to approve and then pay to run the cemetery, that might be difficult under current budget conditions.
“The question becomes how much state funds will actually be used for it as you know the governor just put out a four percent cut on that that maybe difficult but what we want to find out is exactly what the county is looking for to make a determination,” said State Senator Harold Jones.
Augusta leaders are moving forward on the idea of a state veterans cemetery but it is an early step former Mayor Young even if all the dominoes fall Augusta’s way a new state veterans cemetery is still more than 5 years away in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.