A veterans cemetery on the former Fort Ord has been envisioned since the time that the base closure was first considered.
In 1996 significant progress was made in that the FORA Board agreed on a location (generally at Parker Flats). Since that time there have been a lot of ups and downs, but since 2011 progress has been consistent and defined.
In 2012, Assembly Member Bill Monning introduced legislation which would allow FORA (rather than the State) to lead the planning and design of the facility. There was corresponding legislation to enhance the ability to raise funds.
During 2012 there were still rumblings to propose alternate locations even though nothing seemed available or more appropriate â€” at least to the majority of the FORA board. Indeed, while I served as a member, the FORA board twice (finally on October 12, 2012) clearly indicated its preference to maintain the location at Parker Flats.
While Mayor, we directed City of Seaside staff to undertake an amendment of its zoning code to clearly reflect the agreed upon land use at Parker Flats. This is a correction which the City should have made a decade ago assuming the community was in agreement on the location!
With the majority of the organizational and legislative work done, a recent $600,000 grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and a $1 million commitment from the CA State Assembly, the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs approved the Stateâ€™s design to build the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery at the former Fort Ord. The VA also awarded $6.8 million in federal funds to build the cemetery.
Construction is expected to begin before the end of 2014. Further details are available at the FORA website.