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Cost of developing new state veteran's cemetery climbs to $10 million

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With Minnesota's only state veterans cemetery filling up, plans to develop a new one are moving ahead.

A site overlooking the Root River was donated to the state by Fillmore County, but Finance & Commerce reports the work needed to turn the rolling land into a cemetery is now estimated to cost $10 million. The land features some steep slopes and ravines that will need grading and tree removal as well as road building, the newspaper says.

Currently Minnesota has only one state veteran's cemetery, just north of Little Falls. Even with a recent expansion, it's only expected to accommodate another ten years worth of burials.

The state is also home to Fort Snelling National Cemetery in the Twin Cities.

Demographics suggest the demand for veterans burials in Minnesota will grow. The director of the state cemetery in Little Falls tells F & C the Department of Veterans Affairs is looking for other suitable locations near Duluth and in southwestern Minnesota.

Work on the Fillmore County site, which is near Preston, is slated to begin this fall. The first burials are expected by early 2015.

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