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Hall County Board votes to lend GI Veteran Cemetery $371,000 loan

Hall County Board meets with Veteran Service Officer, Don Shuda.
Hall County Board meets with Veteran Service Officer, Don Shuda.(Alicia Naspretto, KSNB)
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 5:03 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The Grand Island Veterans Cemetery is still only about halfway to its fundraising goal of $750,000 that’s needed to become a state cemetery. The project did get the green light to move forward Tuesday morning after the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted to offer a loan for the rest.

They voted unanimously to give up to $371,000 from their inheritance tax fund to ensure the project got started on time.

“There is going to be more work to do, there is going to be more fundraising to be done,” John Hilgert with the Nebraska Department of Veteran Affairs said. “Hall County has basically said we are going to guarantee that the state of Nebraska is going to be able to certify that the money needed to have a fundable project for the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery of Grand Island is going to be there.”

With the project moving forward now, it will provide central Nebraskans with a state cemetery for their veterans.

“It fills that whole space in central Nebraska from Fort McPherson in Maxwell all the way to Omaha,” Hilgert said. “There is no veterans cemetery between that distance and this fills in the whole memory service array, not only honoring our veterans, not only honoring their service but I’d say it’s compassionate for their families as well.”

The money will be taken from the county’s inheritance tax fund and any funds raised from now moving forward will go towards the repayment.

“The CVB funding that we are talking about today, leveraging future dollars of visitors to creating a lasting destination,” veteran volunteer and former Mayor of GI Jay Vavricek said. “Under the infrastructure of destination, this will serve the veterans, Hall County and the people in our great state of Nebraska.”

Donations can still be dropped off at the Hall County Veterans Service Office and at the Five Points Bank in Grand Island.

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