The Veterans Administration is waiting the final o.k. from the contractor before opening the new Northwoods National Cemetery between Rhinelander and Minocqua.
Northwoods National Cemetery is a 6-acre Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) national cemetery located in the Harshaw area. This cemetery will serve the needs of more than 38,000 veterans, spouses and eligible children within a 75-mile radius of Rhinelander.
Kimberly Wright is the Executive Cemetery Director for Fort Snelling, Fargo, and Northwoods National Cemeteries and updates us on the project...
"...We are still in the process of getting that project completed. The last photos I saw the contrator needs to get the turf in and established, and then we'll do a final walk through on the property. At that time if we have any punch list items that we need to have repaired or fixed prior to it being turned over to the government that will conclude the project...."
VA purchased the property on Lakewood Road, Harshaw for $25,000 in September 2015. When completed, the first phase will offer more than 3,300 casket and cremation spaces to accommodate burials for the next 10 years. The cemetery will provide casket burials, in-ground cremation burials, columbarium niches for cremation burials, and a memorial wall.
Wright says the need is there...
"We are excited to be establishing a national cemetery in the upper Wisconsin area. Right now they don't have one, the closest one is Milwaukee. This will give veterans in Iron Mountain and upper Wisconsin an opportunity to be buried in one of our national cemeteries...."
Wright says they don't have exact date for opening the new facility, but she says they're working on having it yet this calendar year.