In the “we told you so” department, yesterday I received official notice from the Veterans Administration that it has scheduled a public meeting for January 23rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis. The purpose is to present the proposed site, describe the VA’s draft Environmental Assessment and proposed FONSI (Finding of No Significant Impact), and receive public comments. The administrative record will remain open until February 12, 2018.
This is the same site which we suggested to CHC’s Keith Norwalk on August 10, 2016 as the obvious alternative to his destructive plan to eliminate 15 acres of mature woods. Well, the Crown Hill board was too resolute (i.e. willful) to consider the obvious alternative as presented by the community. So we were forced to go to battle for 8 months before Senator Donnelly and Representative Carson persuaded Crown Hill and the VA to come to their senses and re-locate the site— to the immediate east in an open field.
The text of the VA’s email appears below. It also contained a link for the draft Environmental Assessment report—
The VA’s notice–
“In May of 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced that it would pursue a land exchange of a 14.75 wooded lot VA currently owns for an adjacent parcel of comparable size owned by Crown Hill Cemetery.
The Administration completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the proposed property acquisition for cemetery expansion and development of Crown Hill National Cemetery. NCA plans to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact following a 30-day comment period, ending on February 12, 2018.
Additionally, VA will host a public meeting January 23 at the Indiana War Memorial at 6 p.m. to present environmental findings, preliminary project plans and obtain community feedback.
For additional information on the Crown Hill Land Exchange, please view a letter from the Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs published in May, 2017.”