Ft. Sheridan Cemetery expansion gets green light

Lake County Forest Preserve officials have agreed to move forward with a plan to convey 4.7 acres of its property for the expansion of the Fort Sheridan National Cemetery. Playing a role in that decision was a petition with 699 signatures favoring the land transfer, which extend use of the cemetery for 50 years. The petition was submitted to the district on Aug. 29.

In January 1989, the Secretary of Defense approved a recommendation from the Base Realignment and Closure Commission to close Fort Sheridan. In October 1997, the Lake County Forest Preserve District approved the Memorandum of Agreement with the Federal Government, resulting in the transfer of approximately 250 acres of Fort Sheridan to the District.

As a condition of deeding the Fort Sheridan property to the District, the Government required the District to maintain the Fort Sheridan National Cemetery in perpetuity. The District has continued to provide care and maintenance of the Cemetery at a cost of approximately $35,000 per year.

The VA has determined that within the next 15 years, the remaining burial capacity at the Cemetery will be depleted, so in 2019, it contacted the District to discuss the potential transfer of property and the release of the requirement to maintain the Cemetery in perpetuity, which would significantly reduce District operational costs now and in the future.

This transfer will allow the VA to expand the Fort Sheridan National Cemetery and install columbaria, which are used for the above-ground interment of cremated remains.

For more information about the Fort Sheridan Cemetery, click here.

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