Hoeven Secures Funding & Approval for Modern Restroom at Fargo National Cemetery; City of Fargo to Evaluate Partnering on Development of Additional Facilities
Senator Worked with VA to Add Running Water, a Flushable Toilet, Heat & Electricity to FNC Restroom
FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today announced that he has:
- Secured funding and approval at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to build at the Fargo National Cemetery (FNC) a fully-developed restroom, which includes running water, a flushable toilet, heat and electricity.
- This comes as the result of Hoeven’s efforts with the VA and local veterans groups to find mutually-agreeable solutions to enhance the cemetery.
- The senator repeatedly advanced this priority with VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs (USMA) Matthew Quinn.
- Asked the City of Fargo to evaluate a partnership with the Fargo Memorial Honor Guard to secure land and develop facilities at the cemetery.
Today’s announcement is part of the cemetery enhancement project that is currently under development, which also includes wind walls and storage space. Work began on the wind walls this week, and construction of the storage building and restroom are set to begin in the next few weeks. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Further, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) continues working to acquire additional land to ensure the cemetery has adequate burial space in the future, having initiated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process to acquire approximately 30 acres for expansion.
“Our veterans, their families and the FNC volunteers deserve facilities that meet their needs and ensure they can honor the memory of those who served with dignity,” said Hoeven. “That’s why we’ve repeatedly pressed the VA to make enhancements like this, and we appreciate USMA Quinn for working with us to add running water and a flushable toilet, as well as heat and electricity, to the restroom facility. At the same time, the partnership being evaluated by the City of Fargo would be an important support in helping local veterans groups develop facilities to enhance our national veterans cemetery.”
Hoeven began these efforts after hearing concerns from veterans support groups that expanded facilities were needed to better accommodate veterans, families and volunteers and that the cemetery would run out of space sooner than anticipated. The senator is working with local stakeholders and veterans groups to identify opportunities for enhancing the cemetery to ensure it can continue serving veterans and their families for years to come. To this end, Hoeven:
- Included language in the Fiscal Year 2021 funding legislation that:
- Required NCA to review the infrastructure at Rural Initiative (RI) cemeteries.
- Encouraged the agency to partner with state, local or private organizations to address needs at RI cemeteries.
- Hosted USMA Quinn in North Dakota in November so he could hear directly from local veteran support groups and to help ensure NCA would work with local stakeholders on addressing these concerns.
- Since then, Hoeven has regularly spoken with USMA Quinn to pass along feedback from local veterans groups and work to address their concerns.
- Continues working through the Senate VA Appropriations Committee to identify ways to better support RI national cemeteries, like FNC, and related projects.
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