Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 22, 2013

Cemetery at Rocky Gap to get funds

O’Malley’s budget includes money for new Allegany High

CUMBERLAND — Funding for several building projects is on the way from the state if Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed budget is approved by lawmakers.

Among the funding highlights are money for a new Allegany High School and additions to the veteran’s cemetery at Rocky Gap.

Being removed from the long-term capital budget is a plan to add a minimum security facility at Western Correctional Institution.

The funding for the veterans cemetery is set for 2015-17, “to provide additional burial capacity,” according to budget remarks.

In 2015, $400,000 of state funds will be designated for the expansion. In 2016, an additional $2.35 million in federal funds will be added for the project.

The plan is to develop more gravesites by adding pre-placed crypts, in-ground cremain sites and above-ground columbaria units, according to the language of the budget.

A cremain site provides a burial spot for cremated remains and a columbaria provides a space to place an urn containing cremated remains.

The change will help veterans’ families to have space for their loved ones’ remains. The exact number of new burial spaces available was not announced.

The cemetery is 27 acres within Rocky Gap State Park, according to state officials. More than 2,800 veterans and their dependents are interred at the cemetery.

The cemetery has approximately 13,700 burial sites available, according to the cemetery website.

Every year for the last five years, more than 3,000 veterans and their beneficiaries were buried in state cemeteries in Maryland — the most of any state in the nation, according to the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

The budget also includes money for various school projects, including $750,000 for a new Allegany High School for fiscal year 2014. Additional requests of more than $27 million in the future are noted in the budget.

Removed from the 2015-17 budget was a planned 280-bed minimum security facility at the Western Correctional Institution.

The project was removed for re-evaluation because of the reorganization of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at Capital News Service contributed to this report.                                                                                                                                                                  

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