The Orange County grand jury Tuesday recommended that Irvine and Orange County officials pick a site for a veterans cemetery by year’s end.
Veterans have been clamoring for a cemetery in the county, but where to put it has been a source of contention. Officials in Irvine have been unable to pick a site in its city that is backed by Assembly members Sharon Quirk Silva, D-Fullerton, and Tom Daley, D-Anaheim, and state Sen. Tom Umberg, D-Santa Ana.
However, Orange County supervisors have endorsed a site on donated land in Gypsum Canyon near the Riverside (91) Freeway and Foothill Toll Road.
“There is no known opposition to the use of the Gypsum Canyon property as a veterans cemetery from the Anaheim City Council, Orange County veterans groups, or” the cemetery district, the grand jury found.
This month, $20 million was allocated in the state budget for a site in Irvine. That site “will reduce potential tax income for the city of Irvine compared to other proposed sites,” the grand jury found.
“In the city of Irvine, competing political and financial interests have caused delays in veterans cemetery site selection,” the grand jury found.
The Veterans Cemetery in Los Angeles is full and there’s a long wait for veterans in the Riverside Veterans Cemetery.
The grand jury recommended that by Nov. 30 the Irvine City Council decide “which, if any, site within its borders to pursue for a veterans cemetery. Site selection efforts should validate the cost and valuation information.”
Also, by the same date, the Orange County Cemetery District, Board of Supervisors and Anaheim officials “should decide whether to pursue developing both a public cemetery and veterans cemetery on the Gypsum Canyon site.”
By the end of the year, “in the event that both the city of Irvine and (the cemetery district) seek to pursue a veterans cemetery,” the grand jury recommended that “a joint city of Irvine and (cemetery district committee) should be established that includes a representative of the board of supervisors to determine which of the respective sites will be endorsed.”
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: