State Cemetery Grants, 34004-34016 [2010-14058]

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Download as PDF 34004 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations of the Port, Sector Sault Sainte Marie, to act on his behalf. The on-scene representative of the Captain of the Port, Sector Sault Sainte Marie, is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port to act on his behalf. (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within an enforced safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port, Sector Sault Sainte Marie, or his on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port, Sector Sault Sainte Marie, or his on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port, Sector Sault Sainte Marie, or his on-scene representative. Dated: June 2, 2010. M.J. Huebschman, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sault Sainte Marie. [FR Doc. 2010–14486 Filed 6–15–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 39 RIN 2900–AM96 State Cemetery Grants Department of Veterans Affairs. Final rule. AGENCY: mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES ACTION: SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this final rule to amend regulations governing grants to States for the establishment, expansion, and improvement of State veterans cemeteries (Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects). We are implementing through regulation new statutory authority to provide grants for the operation and maintenance of State veterans cemeteries (Operation and Maintenance Projects), as authorized by the Dr. James Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act of 2007 (the Act), enacted on December 26, 2007. The Act expands VA authority to provide grants to States for operating and maintaining State veterans cemeteries and limits to $5 million the aggregate amount of such grants VA may award in any fiscal year. VA is amending its regulations to outline the process, the criteria, and the priorities relating to the award of these Operation and Maintenance Project grants. This final rule will also amend our regulations by changing the arrangement and numbering of the current regulatory sections, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 incorporating some non-substantive changes to the regulations, and removing specific forms from this part that are available at http:// www.cem.va.gov/cem/scg_grants.asp. DATES: Effective Date: July 16, 2010. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of July 16, 2010. Applicability Date: This final rule shall apply to all applications for State cemetery grant funds that are received by VA on or after the effective date of this final rule, and to all applications for State cemetery grant funds that were pending with VA on that date. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Salvas, Director of State Cemetery Grants Service, National Cemetery Administration (NCA), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461–8947 (this is not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 31, 2009, VA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (74 FR 69304) to amend regulations in 38 CFR part 39 governing grants to States for Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects and to implement through regulation new statutory authority to provide grants for Operation and Maintenance Projects, as authorized by the Act (Pub. L. 110–157), enacted on December 26, 2007. VA provided a 60-day comment period for the proposed rule that ended March 1, 2010. We received no comments. Based on the rationale set forth in the proposed rule, we are adopting the provisions of the proposed rule as a final rule with the following changes. We made a non-substantive change to proposed §§ 39.35 and 39.85, so that those regulations refer to a Memorandum of Agreement, rather than a Notification of Award, to be consistent with the title of the corresponding VA Form 40–0895–11. Also, although we proposed to update references to the architectural design codes that apply to grant applicants, we decided to update those references in a separate rulemaking. Therefore, we removed the references to the updated editions of the various codes in proposed § 39.63 and replaced them with references to the 2002 and 2003 editions of the codes, as appropriate, that were previously incorporated by reference into 38 CFR part 39. Similarly, we removed the references to the International Mechanical Code and International Plumbing Code in proposed § 39.63 and replaced them with references to the Uniform PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Mechanical Code and Uniform Plumbing Code, respectively, which were previously incorporated by reference into 38 CFR part 39. We did the same with an address from which copies of those two codes can be obtained. Therefore, the editions of codes that were previously incorporated by reference into 38 CFR part 39 will continue to be applicable to grant applicants until the references to the codes are updated or changed through rulemaking. Executive Order 12866 Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive Order classifies a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency or interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this final rule have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under the Executive Order. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601–612. This final rule will directly affect only State government entities and will not directly affect small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this final rule is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604. E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by State, local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any year. This final rule will have no such effect on State, local, or Tribal governments, or on the private sector. Paperwork Reduction Act This final rule at §§ 39.31, 39.32, 39.34, 39.81, 39.82, 39.84, 39.120, and 39.122 contains new collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501– 3521). On December 31, 2009, in proposed rule published in the Federal Register, we requested public comments on the new collections of information. We received no comments. OMB has approved the additional collections in part 39 under OMB Control Number 2900–0559. We are adding a parenthetical statement after the authority citations to all of the sections in part 39 for which new collections have been approved so that the control number is displayed for each new collection. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number and Title The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program number and title for this final rule is 64.203, State Cemetery Grants. Signing Authority PART 39—AID TO STATES FOR ESTABLISHMENT, EXPANSION, AND IMPROVEMENT, OR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, OF VETERANS CEMETERIES Subpart A—General Provisions Sec. 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 Purpose. Definitions. Priority list. Decision makers, notifications, and additional information. 39.5 Submission of information and documents to VA. 39.6 Amendments to grant application. 39.7 Line item adjustment to grants. 39.8 Withdrawal of grant application. 39.9 Hearings. 39.10 Cemetery requirements and prohibitions and recapture provisions. 39.11 State to retain control of operations. Subpart B—Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects Grant Requirements and Procedures 39.30 General requirements for a grant. 39.31 Preapplication requirements. 39.32 Plan preparation. 39.33 Conferences. 39.34 Application requirements. 39.35 Final review and approval of application. Award of Grant 39.50 39.51 Amount of grant. Payment of grant award. Standards and Requirements 39.60 General requirements for site selection and construction of veterans cemeteries. 39.61 Site planning standards. 39.62 Space criteria for support facilities. 39.63 Architectural design standards. Subpart C—Operation and Maintenance Projects List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 39 Award of Grant Cemeteries, Grants programs— veterans, Incorporation by reference, Veterans. mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. John R. Gingrich, Chief of Staff, approved this document on June 7, 2010, for publication. 39.100 39.101 Dated: June 8, 2010. Robert C. McFetridge, Director, Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General Counsel. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 38 CFR part 39 is revised to read as follows: ■ VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 Grant Requirements and Procedures 39.80 General requirements for a grant. 39.81 Preapplication requirements. 39.82 Plan preparation. 39.83 Conferences. 39.84 Application requirements. 39.85 Final review and approval of application. Amount of grant. Payment of grant award. Subpart D—Grant Recipient Responsibilities, Inspections, and Reports Following Project Completion 39.120 Documentation of grant accomplishments. 39.121 State responsibilities following project completion. 39.122 Inspections, audits, and reports. Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 2408, 2411. PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34005 Subpart A—General Provisions § 39.1 Purpose. This part sets forth the mechanism for a State to obtain a grant to establish, expand, or improve a veterans cemetery that is or will be owned by the State or to obtain a grant to operate or maintain a State veterans cemetery to meet VA’s national shrine standards of appearance. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.2 Definitions. For the purpose of this part: (a) Establishment means the process of site selection, land acquisition, design and planning, earth moving, landscaping, construction, and provision of initial operating equipment necessary to convert a tract of land to an operational veterans cemetery. (b) Expansion means an increase in the burial capacity or acreage of an existing cemetery through the addition of gravesites and other facilities, such as committal service shelters, crypts (preplaced grave liners), and columbaria, necessary for the functioning of a cemetery. (c) Improvement means the enhancement of a cemetery through landscaping, construction, or renovation of cemetery infrastructure, such as building expansion and upgrades to roads and irrigation systems, that is not directly related to the development of new gravesites; nonrecurring maintenance; and the addition of other features appropriate to cemeteries. (d) Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project means an undertaking to establish, expand, or improve a site for use as a State-owned veterans cemetery. (e) Operation and Maintenance Project means a project that assists a State to achieve VA’s national shrine standards of appearance in the key cemetery operational areas of cleanliness, height and alignment of headstones and markers, leveling of gravesites, and turf conditions. (f) Secretary means the Secretary of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (g) State means each of the States, Territories, and possessions of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (h) State Cemetery Grants Service (SCGS) means the State Cemetery Grants Service within VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA). (i) VA means the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the State Cemetery Grants Service. (j) Veteran means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who died in line of duty E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 34006 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations while in service or was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 2408) mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES § 39.3 Priority list. (a) The priority groups, with Priority Group 1 having the highest priority and Priority Group 4 the lowest priority, are: (1) Priority Group 1—Projects needed to avoid disruption in burial service that would otherwise occur at existing veterans cemeteries within 4 years of the date of the preapplication. Such projects would include expansion projects as well as improvement projects (such as construction of additional or replacement facilities) when such improvements are required to continue interment operations. (2) Priority Group 2—Projects for the establishment of new veterans cemeteries. (3) Priority Group 3—Expansion projects at existing veterans cemeteries when a disruption in burial service due to the exhaustion of existing gravesites is not expected to occur within 4 years of the date of the preapplication. (4) Priority Group 4—Improvement projects for cemetery landscaping or infrastructure, such as building expansion and upgrades to roads and irrigation systems, that are not directly related to the development of new gravesites. Operation and Maintenance Projects that address NCA’s national shrine standards of appearance are included in this group. (b) Within Priority Groups 1, 2, and 3, highest priority will be given to projects in geographical locations with the greatest number of veterans who will benefit from the project as determined by VA. This prioritization system, based on veteran population data, will assist VA in maintaining and improving access to burial in a veterans cemetery to more veterans and their eligible family members. Within Priority Group 1, at the discretion of VA, higher priority may be given to a project that must be funded that fiscal year to avoid disruption in burial service. (c) Grants for projects within Priority Group 4 will be awarded in any fiscal year only after grants for all project applications under Priority Groups 1, 2, and 3 that are ready for funding have been awarded. Within Priority Group 4, projects will be ranked in priority order based upon VA’s determination of the relative importance of proposed improvements and the degree to which proposed Operation and Maintenance Projects achieve NCA national shrine standards of appearance. No more than $5 million in any fiscal year will be VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 awarded for Operation and Maintenance Projects under Priority Group 4. (d) By August 15 of each year, VA will make a list prioritizing all preapplications that were received on or before July 1 of that year and that were approved under § 39.31 or § 39.81, ranking them in their order of priority within the applicable Priority Group for funding during the fiscal year that begins the following October 1. Preapplications from previous years will be re-prioritized each year and do not need to be resubmitted. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.4 Decision makers, notifications, and additional information. Decisions required under this part will be made by the VA Director, State Cemetery Grants Service (SCGS), National Cemetery Administration, unless otherwise specified in this part. The VA decision maker will provide to affected States written notice of approvals, denials, or requests for additional information under this part. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.5 Submission of information and documents to VA. All information and documents required to be submitted to VA must be submitted to the Director of the State Cemetery Grants Service, National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420. All forms cited in this part are available at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/ scg_grants.asp. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.6 Amendments to grant application. A State seeking to amend a grant application must submit revised Standard Forms 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and 424C (Budget Information) with a narrative description of, and justification for, the amendment. Any amendment of an application that changes the scope of the application or increases the amount of the grant requested, whether or not the application has already been approved, shall be subject to approval by VA in the same manner as an original application. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040–0004 and 4040–0008). § 39.7 Line item adjustment to grants. After a grant has been awarded, upon request from the State representative, VA may approve a change in one or PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 more line items (line items are identified in Standard Form 424C) of up to 10 percent (increase or decrease) of the cost of each line item if the change would be within the scope or objective of the project and the aggregate adjustments would not increase the total amount of the grant. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.8 Withdrawal of grant application. A State representative may withdraw an application by submitting to VA a written document requesting withdrawal. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.9 Hearings. (a) No application for a grant under this part shall be disapproved until the applicant has been afforded an opportunity for a hearing. (b) Whenever a hearing is requested under this section, notice of the hearing, procedure for the conduct of such hearing, and procedures relating to decisions and notices shall accord with the provisions of §§ 18.9 and 18.10 of this chapter. Failure of an applicant to request a hearing under this section or to appear at a hearing for which a date has been set shall be deemed to be a waiver of the right to be heard and constitutes consent to the making of a decision on the basis of such information as is available. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.10 Cemetery requirements and prohibitions and recapture provisions. (a) In order to qualify for a grant, a State veterans cemetery must be operated solely for the interment of veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, minor children, and unmarried adult children who were physically or mentally disabled and incapable of selfsupport. (b) Any grant under this part made on or after November 21, 1997, is made on the condition that, after the date of receipt of the grant, the State receiving the grant, subject to requirements for receipt of notice in 38 U.S.C. 2408 and 2411, will prohibit in the cemetery for which the grant is awarded the interment of the remains or the memorialization of any person: (1) Who has been convicted of a Federal capital crime, as defined in 38 CFR 38.600(b), and whose conviction is final, other than a person whose sentence was commuted by the President; (2) Who has been convicted of a State capital crime, as defined in 38 CFR 38.600(b), and whose conviction is final, other than a person whose sentence was commuted by the Governor of a State. E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations (3) Who has been found by an appropriate State official, as defined in 38 CFR 38.600(b), under procedures to be established by the State, to have committed a Federal or State capital crime, as defined in 38 CFR 38.600(b), but to have not been convicted of such crime by reason of unavailability for trial due to death or flight to avoid prosecution. (c) If a State which has received a grant under this part ceases to own the cemetery for which the grant was made, ceases to operate such cemetery as a veterans cemetery in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, violates the prohibition in paragraph (b) of this section, or uses any part of the funds provided through such grant for a purpose other than that for which the grant was made, the United States shall be entitled to recover from the State the total of all grants made to the State under this part in connection with such cemetery. (d) If, within 3 years after VA has certified to the Department of the Treasury an approved grant application, not all funds from the grant have been used by the State for the purpose for which the grant was made, the United States shall be entitled to recover any unused grant funds from the State. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408, 2411) § 39.11 State to retain control of operations. Neither the Secretary nor any employee of VA shall exercise any supervision or control over the administration, personnel, maintenance, or operation of any State veterans cemetery that receives a grant under this program except as prescribed in this part. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) Subpart B—Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects Grant Requirements and Procedures mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES § 39.30 General requirements for a grant. (a) For a State to obtain a grant for the establishment, expansion, or improvement of a State veterans cemetery: (1) Its preapplication for the grant must be approved by VA under § 39.31(e); (2) Its project must be ranked sufficiently high on the priority list in § 39.3 for the applicable fiscal year so that funds are available for the project; (3) Its plans and specifications for the project must be approved by VA under § 39.32; (4) The State must meet the application requirements in § 39.34; and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 (5) Other requirements specified in §§ 39.6, 39.10, and 39.33 must be satisfied. (b) VA may approve under § 39.35 any application under this subpart up to the amount of the grant requested once the requirements under paragraph (a) of this section have been satisfied, provided that sufficient funds are available. In determining whether sufficient funds are available, VA shall consider the project’s priority ranking, the total amount of funds available for cemetery grant awards during the applicable fiscal year, and the prospects of higher ranking projects being ready for the award of a grant before the end of the applicable fiscal year. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.31 Preapplication requirements. (a) A State seeking a grant of more than $100,000 for the establishment, expansion, or improvement of a State veterans cemetery must submit a preapplication to the Director, State Cemetery Grants Service, through http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/ scg_grants.asp. (b) No detailed drawings, plans, or specifications are required with the preapplication. As a part of the preapplication, the State must submit each of the following: (1) Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and Standard Form 424C (Budget Information) signed by the authorized representative of the State. These forms document the amount of the grant requested, which may not exceed 100 percent of the estimated cost of the project to be funded with the grant. (2) A program narrative describing the objectives of the project, the need for a grant, the method of accomplishment, the projected interment rate, and the results or benefits expected to be obtained from the assistance requested. (3) If a site has been selected, a description of the geographic location of the project (i.e., a map showing the location of the project and all appropriate geographic boundaries, and any other supporting documentation, as needed). (4) A design concept describing the major features of the project including the number and types of gravesites, such as columbarium niches. (5) Any comments or recommendations made by the State’s ‘‘Single Point of Contact’’ reviewing agency. (6) VA Form 40–0895–2 (Certification of Compliance with Provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act) to certify that the State has obtained the latest prevailing wage rates for Federally funded projects. Any PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34007 construction project fully or partially funded with Federal dollars must comply with those rates for specific work by trade employees (e.g., electricians, carpenters). (7) VA Form 40–0895–3 (State or Tribal Government Cemetery Grants Service Space Program Analysis— Buildings) to provide information on the proposed size of cemetery buildings, based on VA guidance on the net and gross square footage standards for cemetery buildings. This standard is based on a workload of 1–6 burials per day. (8) VA Form 40–0895–6 (Certification of State or Tribal Government Matching Architectural and Engineering Funds to Qualify for Group 1 on the Priority List) to provide documentation that the State has legislative authority to support the project and the resources necessary to initially fund the architectural and engineering portion of the project development. Once the grant is awarded, VA will reimburse the applicant for all allowable architectural and engineering costs. (9) VA Form 40–0895–7 (Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters—Primary Covered Transactions (State or Tribal Government)) to ensure that the applicant has not been debarred or suspended, and is eligible to participate in the VA grant process and receive Federal funds. (10) VA Form 40–0895–8 (Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements for Grantees Other Than Individuals) to ensure that the applicant complies with the DrugFree Workplace Act of 1988 at the location where the construction will occur. (11) VA Form 40–0895–9 (Certification Regarding Lobbying) to ensure that the applicant complies with Public Law 101–121 regarding the prohibition against any payments to anyone that influences or attempts to influence an officer or Member of Congress in connection with the award of a grant. (12) VA Form 40–0895–10 (Certification of Compliance with Federal Requirements—State or Tribal Government Construction Grant) to ensure that the applicant complies with all requirements of Part 39. (13) VA Form 40–0895–15 (Certification of Cemetery Maintained in Accordance with National Cemetery Administration Standards) to ensure that any cemetery established, expanded, or improved through a grant will be operated and maintained in accordance with the operational standards of NCA. E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES 34008 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations (c) In addition, the State must submit written assurance of each of the following conditions: (1) Any cemetery established, expanded, or improved through a grant will be used exclusively for the interment or memorialization of eligible persons, as set forth in § 39.10(a), whose interment or memorialization is not contrary to the conditions of the grant (see § 39.10(b) and 38 U.S.C. 2408(d) and 2411). (2) Title to the site is or will be vested solely in the State. (3) The State possesses legal authority to apply for the grant and to finance and construct the proposed facilities; i.e., legislation or similar action has been duly adopted or passed as an official act of the applicant’s governing body, authorizing the filing of the application, including all understandings and assurances contained therein, and directing and authorizing the person identified as the official representative of the State to act in connection with the application and to provide such additional information as may be required. (4) The State will assist VA in assuring that the grant complies with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470), Executive Order 11593 (identification and protection of historic properties), and the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 469a–1 et seq.). (5) The State will obtain approval by VA of the final construction drawings and specifications before the project is advertised or placed on the market for bidding; it will construct the project, or cause the project to be constructed, to completion in accordance with the application and approved plans and specifications; it will submit to the Director of the State Cemetery Grants Service, for prior approval, changes that alter any cost of the project, use of space, or functional layout; and it will not enter into a construction contract for the project or undertake other activities until the requirements of the grant program have been met. (6) The State will comply with the Federal requirements in 2 CFR parts 180 and 801 and 38 CFR part 43 and submit Standard Form 424D (Assurances— Construction Programs). (7) The State will prepare an Environmental Assessment to determine whether an Environmental Impact Statement is necessary, and certify that funds are available to finance any costs related to preparation of the Environmental Assessment. (d) The State must submit a copy of the legislation, as enacted into law, VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 authorizing the establishment, maintenance, and operation of the facility as a veterans cemetery in accordance with 38 CFR 39.10(a). (e) Upon receipt of a complete preapplication for a grant, including all necessary assurances and all required supporting documentation, VA will determine whether the preapplication conforms to all requirements listed in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, including whether it contains sufficient information necessary to establish the project’s priority. VA will notify the State of any nonconformity. If the preapplication does conform, VA shall notify the State that the preapplication has been found to meet the preapplication requirements, and the proposed project will be included in the next scheduled ranking of projects, as indicated in § 39.3(d). (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408, 2411) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040–0004, 4040–0008, 4040–0009, and 2900–0559.) § 39.32 Plan preparation. The State must prepare Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project plans and specifications in accordance with the requirements of this section for review by the SCGS. The plans and specifications must be approved by the SCGS prior to the State’s solicitation for construction bids. Once SCGS approves the plans and specifications, the State must obtain construction bids and determine the successful bidder prior to submission of the application. The State must establish procedures for determining that costs are reasonable and necessary and can be allocated in accordance with the provisions of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A–87. Once the Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project preapplication and the project’s plans and specifications have been approved, an application for assistance must be submitted in compliance with the uniform requirements for grants-in-aid to State and local governments prescribed by OMB Circular No. A–102, Revised. (a) General. These requirements have been established for the guidance of the State agency and the design team to provide a standard for preparation of drawings, specifications, and estimates. (b) Technical requirements. The State should meet these technical requirements as soon as possible after VA approves the Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project preapplication. PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (1) Boundary and site survey. The State agency shall provide a survey of the site and furnish a legal description of the site. A boundary and site survey need not be submitted if one was submitted for a previously approved project and there have been no changes. Relevant information may then be shown on the site plan. If required, the site survey shall show each of the following items: (i) The outline and location referenced to boundaries of all existing buildings, streets, alleys (whether public or private), block boundaries, easements, encroachments, the names of streets, railroads, and streams, and other information as specified. If there is nothing of this character affecting the property, the Surveyor shall so state on the drawings. (ii) The point of beginning, bearing, distances, and interior angles. Closure computations shall be furnished with the survey, and error of closure shall not exceed 1 foot for each 10,000 feet of lineal traverse. Boundaries of an unusual nature (curvilinear, off-set, or having other change or direction between corners) shall be referenced with curve data (including measurement chord) and other data sufficient for replacement, and such information shall be shown on the map. For boundaries of such nature, coordinates shall be given for all angles and other pertinent points. (iii) The area of the parcel in acres or in square feet. (iv) The location of all monuments. (v) Delineation of 100-year floodplain and source. (vi) The signature and certification of the Surveyor. (2) Soil investigation. The State shall provide a soil investigation of the scope necessary to ascertain site characteristics for construction and burial or to determine foundation requirements and utility service connections. A new soil investigation is not required if one was done for a previously approved project on the same site and information from the previous investigation is adequate and unchanged. Soil investigation, when done, shall be documented in a signed report. The investigation shall be adequate to determine the subsoil conditions. The investigation shall include a sufficient number of test pits or test borings as will determine, in the judgment of the architect, the true conditions. The following information will be covered in the report: (i) Thickness, consistency, character, and estimated safe bearing value where needed for structural foundation design of the various strata encountered in each pit or boring. E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations (ii) Amount and elevation of ground water encountered in each pit or boring, its probable variation with the seasons, and effect on the subsoil. (iii) The elevation of rock, if known, and the probability of encountering quicksand. (iv) If the site is underlaid with mines, the elevations and location of the tops of the mine workings relative to the site, or old workings located in the vicinity. (3) Topographical survey. A topographical survey in 1-foot contour intervals shall be prepared for projects establishing new cemeteries and for significant expansion projects in previously undeveloped land. (c) Master plan. A master plan showing the proposed layout of all facilities—including buildings, roadways, and burial sections—on the selected site shall be prepared for all new cemetery establishment projects for approval by the SCGS. If the project is to be phased into different year programs, the phasing shall be indicated. The master plan shall analyze all factors affecting the design, including climate, soil conditions, site boundaries, topography, views, hydrology, environmental constraints, transportation access, etc. It should provide a discussion of alternate designs that were considered. In the case of an expansion project or improvement project, the work contemplated should be consistent with the VA-approved master plan or a justification for the deviation should be provided. (d) Preliminary or ‘‘design development’’ drawings. Following VA approval of the master plan, the State must submit design development drawings that show all current phase construction elements to be funded by the grant. The drawings must comply with the following requirements: (1) Site development and environmental plans must include locations of structures, demolition, parking, roads, service areas, walks, plazas, memorial paths, other paved areas, landscape buffer and major groupings, and interment areas (including quantity of gravesites in each area). A grading plan including existing and proposed contours at 1-foot intervals of the entire area affected by the site work must be submitted. A site plan of the immediate area around each building shall be drawn to a convenient scale and shall show the building floor plan, utility connections, walks, gates, walls or fences, flagpoles, drives, parking areas, indication of handicapped provisions, landscaping, north arrow, and any other appropriate items. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 (2) Floor plans of all levels at a convenient scale shall be double-line drawings and shall show overall dimensions, construction materials, door swings, names and square feet for each space, toilet room fixtures, and interior finish schedule. (3) Elevations of the exteriors of all buildings shall be drawn to the same scale as the plan and shall include all material indications. (4) Preliminary mechanical and electrical layout plans shall be drawn at a convenient scale and shall have an equipment and plumbing fixture schedule. (e) Final construction drawings and specifications. Funds for the construction of any project being assisted under this program will not be released until VA approves the final construction drawings and specifications. If VA approves them, VA shall send the State a written letter of approval indicating that the project’s plans and specifications comply with the terms and conditions as prescribed by VA. This does not constitute approval of the contract documents. It is the responsibility of the State to ascertain that all State and Federal requirements have been met and that the drawings and specifications are acceptable for bid purposes. (1) General. The State shall prepare final working drawings so that clear and distinct prints may be obtained. These drawings must be accurately dimensioned to include all necessary explanatory notes, schedules, and legends. Working drawings shall be complete and adequate for VA review and comment. The State shall prepare separate drawings for each of the following types of work: architectural, equipment, layout, structural, heating and ventilating, plumbing, and electrical. (2) Architectural drawings. The State shall submit drawings which include: All structures and other work to be removed; all floor plans if any new work is involved; all elevations which are affected by the alterations; building sections; demolition drawings; all details to complete the proposed work and finish schedules; and fully dimensioned floor plans at 1/8″ or 1/4″ scale. (3) Equipment drawings. The State shall submit a list of all equipment to be provided under terms of the grant in the case of an Establishment Project. Largescale drawings of typical special rooms indicating all fixed equipment and major items of furniture and moveable equipment shall be included. (4) Layout drawings. The State shall submit a layout plan that shows: PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34009 (i) All proposed features such as roads, buildings, walks, utility lines, burial layout, etc. (ii) Contours, scale, north arrow, and legend showing existing trees. (iii) A graphic or keyed method of showing plant types as well as quantities of each plant. (iv) Plant list with the following: key, quantity, botanical name, common name, size, and remarks. (v) Typical tree and shrub planting details. (vi) Areas to be seeded or sodded. (vii) Areas to be mulched. (viii) Gravesite section layout with permanent section monument markers and lettering system. (ix) Individual gravesite layout and numbering system. If the cemetery is existing and the project is expansion or renovation, show available, occupied, obstructed, and reserved gravesites. (x) Direction the headstones face. (5) Structural drawings. The State shall submit complete foundation and framing plans and details, with general notes to include: governing code, material strengths, live loads, wind loads, foundation design values, and seismic zone. (6) Mechanical drawings. The State shall submit: (i) Heating and ventilation drawings showing complete systems and details of air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and exhaust; and (ii) Plumbing drawings showing sizes and elevations of soil and waste systems, sizes of all hot and cold water piping, drainage and vent systems, plumbing fixtures, and riser diagrams. (7) Electrical drawings. The State shall submit separate drawings for lighting and power, including drawings of: (i) Service entrance, feeders, and all characteristics; (ii) All panel, breaker, switchboard, and fixture schedules; (iii) All lighting outlets, receptacles, switches, power outlets, and circuits; and (iv) Telephone layout, fire alarm systems, and emergency lighting. (8) Final specifications. Final specifications (to be used for bid purposes) shall be in completed format. Specifications shall include the invitations for bids, cover or title sheet, index, general requirements, form of bid bond, form of agreement, performance and payment bond forms, and sections describing materials and workmanship in detail for each class of work. (9) Cost estimates. The State shall show in convenient form and detail the estimated total cost of the work to be performed under the contract, including provisions of fixed equipment shown by E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 34010 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations the plans and specifications, if applicable, to reflect the changes of the approved financial plan. Estimates shall be summarized and totaled under each trade or type of work. Estimates shall also be provided for each building structure and other important features such as the assembly area and shall include burial facilities. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900–0559). § 39.33 Conferences. (a) Predesign conference. A predesign conference is required for all Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects requiring major construction, primarily to ensure that the State agency becomes oriented to VA procedures, requirements, and any technical comments pertaining to the project. This conference will take place at an appropriate location near the proposed site and should include a site visit to ensure that all parties to the process, including NCA staff, are familiar with the site and its characteristics. (b) Additional conferences. At any time, VA may recommend an additional conference (such as a design development conference) be held in VA Central Office in Washington, DC, to provide an opportunity for the State and its architects to discuss with VA officials the requirements for a grant. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES § 39.34 Application requirements. (a) For an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project to be considered for grant funding under this subpart, the State must submit an application (as opposed to a preapplication) consisting of the following: (1) Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) with the box labeled ‘‘application’’ marked; (2) Standard Form 424C (Budget Information), which documents the amount of funds requested based on the construction costs as estimated by the successful construction bid; (3) A copy of itemized bid tabulations (If there are non-VA participating areas, these shall be itemized separately.); and (4) Standard Form 424D (Assurances—Construction Program). (5) VA Form 40–0895–11 (Memorandum of Agreement for a Grant to Construct or Modify a State or Tribal Government Veterans Cemetery) to identify the parties (VA and applicant), identify the scope of the project, and VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 indicate how the grant award funds will be paid to the applicant. (6) VA Form 40–0895–12 (Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion—Lower Tier Covered Transactions (Contractor)) to ensure that the contractor has not been debarred or suspended, and is eligible to participate in the VA grant process and receive Federal funds. (b) Prior to submission of the application, the State must submit a copy of an Environmental Assessment to determine if an Environmental Impact Statement is necessary for compliance with section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4332). The Environmental Assessment must briefly describe the project’s possible beneficial and harmful effects on the following impact categories: (1) Transportation; (2) Air quality; (3) Noise; (4) Solid waste; (5) Utilities; (6) Geology (Soils/Hydrology/ Floodplains); (7) Water quality; (8) Land use; (9) Vegetation, Wildlife, Aquatic, Ecology/Wetlands, etc.; (10) Economic activities; (11) Cultural resources; (12) Aesthetics; (13) Residential population; (14) Community services and facilities; (15) Community plans and projects; and (16) Other. (c) If an adverse environmental impact is anticipated, the State must explain what action will be taken to minimize the impact. The assessment shall comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040–0004, 4040–0008, 4040–0009, and 2900–0559). § 39.35 Final review and approval of application. Following VA approval of bid tabulations and cost estimates, VA will review the complete Establishment, Expansion and Improvement Project grant application for approval in accordance with the requirements of § 39.30. If the application is approved, the grant will be awarded by a Memorandum of Agreement of Federal grant funds. PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) Award of Grant § 39.50 Amount of grant. (a) The amount of an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project grant awarded under this subpart may not exceed 100 percent of the total cost of the project, but may be less than the total cost of the project. (b) The total cost of a project under this subpart may include: (1) Administration and design costs, e.g., architectural and engineering fees, inspection fees, and printing and advertising costs. (2) The cost of cemetery features, e.g., entry features, flag plaza and assembly areas, columbaria, preplaced liners or crypts, irrigation systems, committalservice shelters, and administration/ maintenance buildings. (3) In the case of an establishment grant, the cost of equipment necessary for the operation of the State veterans cemetery. This may include the cost of non-fixed equipment such as grounds maintenance equipment, burial equipment, and office equipment. (4) In the case of an improvement or expansion grant, the cost of equipment necessary for operation of the State veterans cemetery, but only if such equipment: (i) Was included in the construction contract; (ii) Was installed during construction; and (iii) Is permanently affixed to a building or connected to the heating, ventilating, air conditioning, or other service distributed through a building via ducts, pipes, wires, or other connecting device, such as kitchen and intercommunication equipment, built-in cabinets, and equipment lifts. (5) A contingency allowance not to exceed five percent of the total cost of a project that involves new construction or eight percent of the total cost of an improvement project that does not involve new construction. (c) The total cost of a project under this subpart may not include the cost of: (1) Land acquisition; (2) Building space that exceeds the space guidelines specified in this part; (3) Improvements not on cemetery land, such as access roads or utilities; (4) Maintenance or repair work; (5) Office supplies or consumable goods (such as fuel and fertilizer) that are routinely used in a cemetery; or (6) Fully enclosed, climate-controlled, committal-service facilities, freestanding chapels, or chapels that are part of an administrative building or information center. E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations (d) VA shall certify approved applications to the Secretary of the Treasury in the amount of the grant, and shall designate the appropriation from which it shall be paid. Funds paid for the establishment, expansion, or improvement of a veterans cemetery must be used solely for carrying out approved projects. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.51 Payment of grant award. The amount of an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project grant award will be paid to the State or, if designated by the State representative, the State veterans cemetery for which such project is being carried out, or any other State agency or instrumentality. Such amount shall be paid by way of reimbursement, and in installments that are consistent with the progress of the project, as the Director of the State Cemetery Grants Service may determine and certify for payment to the appropriate Federal institution. Funds paid under this section for an approved Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project shall be used solely for carrying out such project as approved. As a condition for the final payment, the State representative must submit to VA the following: (a) Standard Form 271 (Outlay Report and Request for Reimbursement for Construction Programs); (b) A request in writing for the final architectural/engineering inspection, including the name and telephone number of the local point of contact for the project; (c) The written statement, ‘‘It is hereby agreed that the monetary commitment of the Federal government will have been met and the project will be considered terminated upon payment of this voucher.’’; and (d) Evidence that the State has met its responsibility for an audit under the Single Audit Act of 1984 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et seq.) and § 39.122, if applicable. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 0348–0002). mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Standards and Requirements (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.60 General requirements for site selection and construction of veterans cemeteries. § 39.61 (a) The various codes, requirements, and recommendations of State and local authorities or technical and professional organizations, to the extent and manner in which those codes, requirements, and recommendations are referenced in this subpart, are applicable to grants VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 involving construction of veterans cemeteries. Additional information concerning these codes, requirements, and recommendations may be obtained from VA, National Cemetery Administration, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420. (b) The standards in §§ 39.60, 39.61, 39.62, and 39.63 constitute general design and construction criteria and shall apply to all Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects for which Federal assistance is requested under 38 U.S.C. 2408. (c) In developing these standards, no attempt has been made to comply with all of the various State and local codes and regulations. The standards contained in §§ 39.60, 39.61, 39.62, and 39.63 shall be followed where they exceed State or local codes and regulations. Departure will be permitted, however, when alternate standards are demonstrated to provide equivalent or better design criteria than the standards in these sections. Conversely, compliance is required with State and local codes where such requirements provide a standard higher than those in these sections. The additional cost, if any, in using standards that are higher than those of VA should be documented and justified in the application. (d) The space criteria and area requirements referred to in these standards shall be used as a guide in planning. Additional area and facilities beyond those specified as basic may be included if found to be necessary to meet the functional requirements of the project but are subject to approval by VA. Substantial deviation from the space criteria or area standards shall be carefully considered and justified. Failing to meet the criteria or standards or exceeding them by more than 10 percent in the completed plan would be regarded as evidence of inferior design or as exceeding the boundaries of professional requirements. In those projects that unjustifiably exceed maximum space criteria or area requirements, VA funding may be subject to reduction in proportion to the amount by which the space or area of the cemetery exceeds the maximum specified in these standards. Site planning standards. (a) Site selection—(1) Location. The land should be located as close as possible to the densest veteran population in the area under consideration. (2) Size. Sufficient acreage shall be available to provide gravesites for estimated needs for at least 20 years. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34011 More acreage should be provided where feasible. Acreage could vary depending on the State veteran population and national cemetery availability. (3) Accessibility. The site should be readily accessible by highway. Offsite improvements shall not be funded by the grant. (4) Topography. The land should range from comparatively level to rolling and moderately hilly terrain. Natural rugged contours are suitable only if development and maintenance costs would not be excessive and burial areas would be accessible to elderly or infirm visitors. The land shall not be subject to flooding. (5) Water table. The water table should be lower than the maximum proposed depth of burial. (6) Soil requirements. The soil should be free from rock, muck, unstable composition, and other materials that would hamper the economical excavation of graves by normal methods. In general, the soil should meet the standards of good agricultural land that is capable of supporting turf and trees, with normal care and without the addition of topsoil. (7) Utilities. Electricity and gas, if required, should be available. Offsite improvements shall not be funded by the grant. (8) Water supply. An adequate supply of water should be available. Offsite improvements shall not be funded by the grant. (9) Sewerage. An approved means to dispose of storm flow and sewage from the facility should be available. Offsite improvements shall not be funded by the grant. (b) Site development requirements— (1) General. The development plan shall provide for adequate hard-surfaced roads, walks, parking areas, public rest rooms, a flag circle, and a main gate. (2) Parking. All parking facilities shall include provisions to accommodate the physically handicapped. A minimum of one space shall be set aside and identified with signage in each parking area with additional spaces provided in the ratio of 1 handicapped space to every 20 regular spaces. Handicapped spaces shall not be placed between two conventional diagonal or head-on parking spaces. Each of the handicapped parking spaces shall not be less than 9 feet wide; in addition, a clear space 4 feet wide shall be provided between the adjacent conventional parking spaces and also on the outside of the end spaces. Parking shall not be provided for large numbers of people attending ceremonial events such as Memorial Day services. E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES 34012 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations (3) Roads. Roads should generally follow the topography of the cemetery and allow pedestrian access to burial sections on both sides. Roads should generally not be used as ‘‘boundaries’’ outlining burial sections. Extensive bridging should be avoided. Grant program funding may not be used to build access roads on property that is not part of the cemetery. Road widths shall be compatible with proposed traffic flows and volumes. Primary roads shall be generally 24 feet wide. (4) Pavement design. The pavement section of all roads, service areas, and parking areas shall be designed for the maximum anticipated traffic loads and existing soil conditions and in accordance with local and State design criteria. (5) Curbs. Bituminous roads may be provided with integral curbs and gutters constructed of portland cement concrete. Freestanding curbs may be substituted when the advantage of using them is clearly indicated. All curbs shall have a ‘‘roll-type’’ cross section for vehicle and equipment access to lawn areas except as may be necessary for traffic control. The radii of curbs at road intersections shall not be less than 20 feet-0 inches. Curb ramps shall be provided to accommodate the physically handicapped and maintenance equipment. Curb ramps shall be provided at all intersections of roads and walks. The curb ramps shall not be less than 4 feet wide; they shall not have a slope greater than 8 percent, and preferably not greater than 5 percent. The vertical angle between the surface of a curb ramp and the surface of a road or gutter shall not be less than 176 degrees; the transition between the two surfaces shall be smooth. Curb ramps shall have nonskid surfaces. (6) Walks. Walks shall be designed with consideration for the physically handicapped and elderly. Walks and ramps designed on an incline shall have periodic level platforms. All walks, ramps and platforms shall have nonskid surfaces. Any walk shall be ramped if the slope exceeds 3 percent. Walks that have gradients from 2 to 3 percent shall be provided with level platforms at 200foot intervals and at intersections with other walks. Ramps shall not have a slope greater than 8 percent, and preferably not greater than 5 percent. The ramps shall have handrails on both sides unless other protective devices are provided; every handrail shall have clearance of not less than 11⁄2 inches between the back of the handrail and the wall or any other vertical surface behind it. Ramps shall not be less than 4 feet wide between curbs; curbs shall be provided on both sides. The curbs VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 shall not be less than 4 inches high and 4 inches wide. A level platform in a ramp shall not be less than the full width of the ramp and not less than 5 feet long. Entrance platforms and ramps shall be provided with protective weather barriers to shield them against hazardous conditions resulting from inclement weather. (7) Steps. Exterior steps may be included in the site development as long as provisions are made for use by physically handicapped persons. (8) Grading. Minimum lawn slopes shall be 2 percent; critical spot grade elevations shall be shown on the contract drawings. Insofar as practicable, lawn areas shall be designed without steep slopes. (9) Landscaping. The landscaping plan should provide for a park-like setting of harmonious open spaces balanced with groves of indigenous and cultivated deciduous and evergreen trees. Shrubbery should be kept to a minimum. Steep slopes that are unsuitable for interment areas should be kept in their natural state. (10) Surface drainage. Surface grades shall be determined in coordination with the architectural, structural, and mechanical design of buildings and facilities so as to provide proper surface drainage. (11) Burial areas. A site plan of the cemetery shall include a burial layout. If appropriate, the burial layout should reflect the phases of development in the various sections. The first phase of construction should contain sufficient burial sites to meet the foreseeable demand for at least 10 years. All applicable dimensions of roadways, fences, utilities, or other structures shall be indicated on the layout. (12) Gravesites. Gravesites shall be laid out in uniform pattern. There shall be a minimum of 10 feet from the edge of roads and drives and a minimum of 20 feet from the boundaries or fence lines. Maximum distance from the edge of a permanent road to any gravesite shall not be over 275 feet. Temporary roads may be provided to serve areas in phase developments. (13) Monumentation. Each grave shall be marked with an appropriate marker, and each cemetery shall maintain a register of burials setting forth the name of each person buried and the designation of the grave in which he/she is buried. Permanent gravesite control markers shall be installed based on a grid system throughout the burial area unless otherwise specified. This will facilitate the gravesite layout, placement of utility lines, and alignment of headstones. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (14) Entrance. The entrance should be an architectural or landscape feature that creates a sense of arrival. (15) Memorial walkway. Each cemetery should have an area for the display of memorials donated by veterans groups and others. Such areas may take the form of a path or walkway and should provide a contemplative setting for visitors. (16) Donation items. Family members and others often wish to donate items such as benches and trees. Acceptable items of donation should be specified in the cemetery plan. The plan should also designate appropriate locations for such items. (17) Flag/assembly area. There shall be one primary flagpole for the United States flag. This flag shall be lighted. A turf assembly area should be developed for major gatherings such as Memorial Day. The assembly area may be focused on the flag. The area may also incorporate an architectural or a landscape feature that functions as a platform or backdrop for speakers. (18) Site furnishings. Site furnishings include signage, trash receptacles, benches, and flower containers. These items should be coordinated and complement each other, the architectural design, and the cemetery as a whole. They should be simple, durable, standardized, and properly scaled. (19) Carillons. The cemetery development plan should include a location for a carillon tower. Carillons are normally donated. They are not provided for in the grant. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.62 Space criteria for support facilities. These criteria are based on a projected average burial rate of one to six per day, staffing by position, and a defined complement of maintenance and service equipment. For cemeteries with less than one or more than six burials per day, support facilities are considered on an individual basis in accordance with § 39.60(d). In converting Net Square Feet (NSF) to Gross Square Feet (GSF), a conversion factor of 1.5 is the maximum allowed. The applicant shall, in support of the design, include the following as an attachment to the application: A list of all grounds maintenance supplies and equipment and the number of Full Time Employees (FTE) by job assignment for the next 10 years. (a) Administrative building. The administrative building should be approximately 1,600 NSF in total, providing space, as needed, for the following: (1) Cemetery director’s office; E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations (2) Other offices (as needed); (3) Administrative staff (lobby/office area); (4) Operations (file/office/equipment/ work area); (5) Family/conference room; (6) Military honors team; (7) Refreshment unit; (8) Housekeeping aide’s closet; and (9) Restroom facilities. (b) Maintenance/service building. The maintenance/service building may be combined with the administrative building. The maintenance/service building should be approximately 2,200 NSF in total, providing heated and air conditioned space, as needed, for the following: (1) Foreman’s office; (2) Lunch room; (3) Kitchen unit; (4) Toilet and locker room facilities; (5) Housekeeping aide’s closet; and (6) Vehicle and equipment maintenance and storage. (c) Vehicle and equipment storage. Approximately 275 NSF/Bay as needed. Not all types of vehicles and equipment require storage in heated space. Based on climatic conditions, it may be justified to rely completely on open structures rather than heated structures to protect the following types of vehicles and equipment: Dump trucks, pickup trucks, cemetery automobiles, gang and circular mowers. (d) Interment/committal service shelter. One permanent shelter is authorized for every five interments per day. The shelter may include a covered area to provide seating for approximately 20 people and an uncovered paved area to provide space for approximately 50 additional people. The shelter may also include a small, enclosed equipment/storage area. Provisions must be made for the playing of Taps by recorded means. (e) Public Information Center. One permanent Public Information Center is authorized per facility. A Public Information Center is used to orient visitors and funeral corteges. It should include the gravesite locator. The public restrooms may also be combined with this structure. Space determinations for separate structures for public restrooms shall be considered on an individual basis. The Public Information Center, including public restrooms, may be combined with the administrative building. (f) Other interment structures. Space determinations for other support facilities such as columbaria, preplaced graveliners (or crypts), garden niches, etc., will be considered on an individual basis in accordance with § 39.60(d). (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 § 39.63 Architectural design standards. The publications listed in this section are incorporated by reference. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of these publications may be inspected at the office of the State Cemetery Grants Service, National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420 or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030 or go to http://www.archives.gov/ federal_register/ code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. Copies of the 2003 edition of the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code and Errata (NFPA 101), the 2003 edition of the NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, and the 2002 edition of the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70, may be obtained from the National Fire Protection Association, Inc. (NFPA), 1 Batterymarch Park, P.O. Box 9101, Quincy, MA 02269–9101, 800–844– 6058 (toll free). Copies of the 2003 edition of the Uniform Mechanical Code and the 2003 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code may be obtained from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, 5001 E. Philadelphia Street, Ontario, CA 91761–2816. 909–472–4100 (this is not a toll-free number). The 2002 and 2003 NFPA and IAPMO code publications can be inspected at VA by calling 202– 461–4902 for an appointment. (a) Architectural and structural requirements—(1) Life Safety Code. Standards must be in accordance with the 2003 edition of the National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code, NFPA 101. Fire safety construction features not included in NFPA 101 shall be designed in accordance with the requirements of the 2003 edition of the NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code. Where the adopted codes state conflicting requirements, the NFPA National Fire Codes shall govern. (2) State and local codes. In addition to compliance with the standards set forth in this section, all applicable local and State building codes and regulations must be observed. In areas not subject to local or State building codes, the recommendations contained in the 2003 edition of the NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code, shall apply. (3) Occupational safety and health standards. Applicable standards contained in the Occupational Safety PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34013 and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) must be observed. (b) Mechanical requirements. The heating system, boilers, steam system, ventilation system, and air-conditioning system shall be furnished and installed to meet all requirements of the local and State codes and regulations. Where no local or State codes are in force, the 2003 edition of the Uniform Mechanical Code shall apply. (c) Plumbing requirements. Plumbing systems shall comply with all applicable local and State codes, the requirements of the State Department of Health, and the minimum general standards as set forth in this part. Where no local or State codes are in force, the 2003 edition of the Uniform Plumbing Code shall apply. (d) Electrical requirements. The installation of electrical work and equipment shall comply with all local and State codes and laws applicable to electrical installations and the minimum general standards set forth in the NFPA 70, National Electrical Code, 2002 edition. The regulations of the local utility company shall govern service connections. Aluminum bus ways shall not be used as a conducting medium in the electrical distribution system. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) Subpart C—Operation and Maintenance Projects Grant Requirements and Procedures § 39.80 General requirements for a grant. (a) For a State to obtain a grant for the operation or maintenance of a State veterans cemetery: (1) Its preapplication for the grant must be approved by VA under § 39.81(e); (2) Its project must be ranked sufficiently high within Priority Group 4 as defined in § 39.3 for the applicable fiscal year so that funds are available for the project, and a grant for the project must not result in payment of more than the $5 million total amount permissible for all Operation and Maintenance Projects in any fiscal year; (3) Its plans and specifications for the project must be approved by VA under § 39.82; (4) The State must meet the application requirements in § 39.84; and (5) Other requirements specified in §§ 39.6, 39.10, and 39.83 must be satisfied. (b) VA may approve under § 39.85 any Operation and Maintenance Project grant application up to the amount of the grant requested once the requirements under paragraph (a) of this E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 34014 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations section have been satisfied, provided that sufficient funds are available and that total amount of grants awarded during any fiscal year for Operation and Maintenance Projects does not exceed $5 million. In determining whether sufficient funds are available, VA shall consider the project’s ranking in Priority Group 4; the total amount of funds available for cemetery grant awards in Priority Group 4 during the applicable fiscal year; and the prospects of higher ranking projects being ready for the award of a grant before the end of the applicable fiscal year. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES § 39.81 Preapplication requirements. (a) A State seeking a grant for the operation or maintenance of a State veterans cemetery must submit a preapplication to the Director, State Cemetery Grants Service, through http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/ scg_grants.asp. (b) No detailed drawings, plans, or specifications are required with the preapplication. As a part of the preapplication, the State must submit each of the following: (1) Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and Standard Form 424C (Budget Information) signed by the authorized representative of the State. These forms document the amount of the grant requested, which may not exceed 100 percent of the estimated cost of the project to be funded with the grant. (2) VA Form 40–0895–2 (Certification of Compliance with Provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act) to certify that the State has obtained the latest prevailing wage rates for Federally funded projects. Any construction project fully or partially funded with Federal dollars must comply with those rates for specific work by trade employees (e.g., electricians, carpenters). (3) VA Form 40–0895–6 (Certification of State or Tribal Government Matching Architectural and Engineering Funds to Qualify for Group 1 on the Priority List) to provide documentation that the State has legislative authority to support the project and the resources necessary to initially fund the architectural and engineering portion of the project development. Once the grant is awarded, VA will reimburse the applicant for all allowable architectural and engineering costs. (4) VA Form 40–0895–7 (Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters–Primary Covered Transactions (State or Tribal Government)) to ensure that the applicant has not been debarred or suspended, and is eligible to participate VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 in the VA grant process and receive Federal funds. (5) VA Form 40–0895–8 (Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements for Grantees Other Than Individuals) to ensure that the applicant complies with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 at the location where the construction will occur. (6) VA Form 40–0895–9 (Certification Regarding Lobbying) to ensure that the applicant complies with Public Law 101–121 regarding the prohibition against any payments to anyone that influences or attempts to influence an officer or Member of Congress in connection with the award of a grant. (7) VA Form 40–0895–10 (Certification of Compliance with Federal Requirements–State or Tribal Government Construction Grant) to ensure that the applicant complies with all requirements of Part 39. (8) VA Form 40–0895–15 (Certification of Cemetery Maintained in Accordance with National Cemetery Administration Standards) to ensure that any cemetery operated or maintained through a grant will be operated and maintained in accordance with VA’s national shrine standards of appearance. (9) A gravesite assessment survey documenting the State cemetery’s performance related to the standards outlined in paragraph (b)(10) of this section for the year in which the preapplication is submitted. (10) A program narrative describing how the project will assist the State in meeting VA’s national shrine standards with respect to cleanliness, height and alignment of headstones and markers, leveling of gravesites, or turf conditions. Specifically, the preapplication should explain the need for the grant, how the work is to be accomplished, and the expected improvement in the State cemetery’s performance related to one or more of the following national shrine standards: (i) Cleanliness. 90 percent of headstones, markers, and niche covers must be clean and free of debris and objectionable accumulations. (ii) Height. 90 percent of headstones and markers must be set and maintained at the proper height. (iii) Alignment. 100 percent of headstones, markers, and niche covers must be properly installed. Upright headstones in active burial sections must be uniform in height (24″–26″ above ground), horizontally and vertically aligned with inscriptions visible, and installed to ensure a pleasing top line while compensating for ground contours. Flat markers must be uniform in height (parallel with the PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 ground and no more than 1″ above grade) and horizontally and vertically aligned. Niche covers must be horizontally and vertically aligned. All inscriptions must be visible. (iv) Grade. 95 percent of the grade of every gravesite must blend in with adjacent grade levels. (v) Turf Conditions. 100 percent of visually prominent areas must have a well-established, healthy stand of turf that is generally weed free; 95 percent of visually prominent areas with established turf must be generally free of bare areas. (11) A description of the geographic location of the existing State cemetery and any other supporting documentation, as requested by the SCGS Director. (12) A description of the project including the number and types of headstones and markers that need to be cleaned and aligned, a description of the gravesites that need to be leveled, and a description of the turf conditions that need to be improved to meet VA’s national shrine standards. (c) In addition, the State must submit written assurance of each of the following conditions: (1) Any cemetery in receipt of a grant under this subpart will be used exclusively for the interment or memorialization of eligible persons, as set forth in § 39.10(a), whose interment or memorialization is not contrary to the conditions of the grant (see § 39.10(b) and 38 U.S.C. 2408(d) and 2411). (2) Title to the site is or will be vested solely in the State. (3) The State possesses legal authority to apply for the grant. (4) The State will obtain approval by VA of the final specifications before the project is advertised or placed on the market for bidding; the project will achieve VA’s national shrine standards with respect to cleanliness, height and alignment of headstones and markers, leveling of gravesites, or turf conditions in accordance with the application and approved plans and specifications; the State will submit to the Director of the State Cemetery Grants Service, for prior approval, changes that alter any cost of the project; and the State will not enter into a contract for the project or undertake other activities until all the requirements of the grant program have been met. (d) Depending on the scope of the project, the SCGS will work with the State to determine which, if any, of the following are required: (1) Compliance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470), Executive Order 11593 (identification E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations and protection of historic properties), and the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 469a–1 et seq.). (2) Compliance with the Federal requirements in 2 CFR parts 180 and 801 and 38 CFR part 43 and submission of Standard Form 424D (Assurances— Construction Programs). (3) A site Environmental Assessment to determine whether an Environmental Impact Statement will be necessary as a result of the work to be performed on the headstones and markers, gravesites, or turf conditions. (e) Upon receipt of a complete preapplication for a grant, including all necessary assurances and all required supporting documentation, VA will determine whether the preapplication conforms to all requirements listed in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, including whether it contains sufficient information necessary to establish the project’s priority. VA will notify the State of any nonconformity. If the preapplication does conform, VA shall notify the State that the preapplication has been found to meet the preapplication requirements, and the proposed project will be included in the next scheduled ranking of projects, as indicated in § 39.3(d). (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408, 2411) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040–0004, 4040–0008, 4040–0009, and 2900–0559). mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES § 39.82 Plan preparation. (a) The State must successfully complete its plan preparation under this section before submitting a grant application for an Operation and Maintenance Project. The State may be required to undertake some or all of the following requirements of this section. After submitting all necessary plans and specifications to the SCGS and obtaining approval for the State to solicit for the Operation and Maintenance Project contract bids, the State shall: (1) Obtain bids and determine the successful bidder; (2) Establish procedures for determining that costs are reasonable and necessary and can be allocated in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A–87 and submit documentation of such determinations to VA; and (3) Comply with the uniform requirements for grants-in-aid to State and local governments prescribed by OMB Circular No. A–102, Revised. (b) Depending on the scope of the project, the SCGS will work with the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 State to determine which of the following will be required prior to submission of an application. As determined by VA, these may include: (1) A boundary and site survey comprising a survey and legal description of the existing State cemetery site; (2) Project drawings indicating the cemetery section(s) to be impacted by the Operation and Maintenance Project, gravesite section layout with permanent section monument markers and lettering system, and the total number of gravesites to be impacted; (3) Project specifications (to be used for bid purposes), which shall include the invitation for bid, cover or title sheet, index, general requirements, form of bid bond, form of agreement, performance and payment bond forms, and detailed descriptions of materials and workmanship for the work to be performed to meet VA’s national shrine standards; (4) A detailed estimate of the total cost of the work to be performed under the contract; or (5) A site Environmental Assessment meeting the provisions of § 39.34(b) to determine if an Environmental Impact Statement is necessary for compliance with section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4332), as a result of the work to be performed on the headstones and markers, gravesites, or turf conditions. (c) If VA determines that the project’s plans and specifications comply with the terms and conditions prescribed by VA, VA will send the State a written letter of approval indicating that the project’s plans and specifications comply with the terms and conditions as prescribed by VA. This does not constitute approval of the contract documents. It is the responsibility of the State to ascertain that all State and Federal requirements have been met and that the drawings and specifications are acceptable for bid purposes. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirement in this section under control number 2900–0559). § 39.83 Conferences. (a) Planning conference. The SCGS may require planning conferences for Operation and Maintenance Projects, primarily to ensure that the State agency becomes oriented to VA’s national shrine standards, procedures, requirements, and any technical comments pertaining to the project. These conferences will normally occur over the telephone. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34015 (b) Additional conferences. At any time, VA may recommend an additional telephone conference to provide an opportunity for the State to discuss with VA officials the requirements for an Operation and Maintenance Project grant. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) § 39.84 Application requirements. For an Operation and Maintenance Project to be considered for grant funding under this subpart, the State must submit an application (as opposed to a preapplication) consisting of the following: (a) Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) with the box labeled ‘‘application’’ marked; (b) Standard Form 424C (Budget Information), which documents the amount of funds requested based on the construction costs as estimated by the successful construction bid; (c) A copy of itemized bid tabulations; and (d) Standard Form 424D (Assurances—Construction Program). (e) VA Form 40–0895–11 (Memorandum of Agreement for a Grant to Construct or Modify a State or Tribal Government Veterans Cemetery) to identify the parties (VA and applicant), identify the scope of the project, and indicate how the grant award funds will be paid to the applicant. (f) VA Form 40–0895–12 (Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion– Lower Tier Covered Transactions (Contractor)) to ensure that the contractor has not been debarred or suspended, and is eligible to participate in the VA grant process and receive Federal funds. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040–0002, 4040–0008, 4040–0009, and 2900–0559). § 39.85 Final review and approval of application. Following VA approval of bid tabulations and cost estimates, the complete Operation and Maintenance Project grant application will be reviewed for approval in accordance with the requirements of § 39.80. If the application is approved, the grant will be awarded by a Memorandum of Agreement of Federal grant funds. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) Award of Grant § 39.100 Amount of grant. (a) The amount of an Operation and Maintenance Project grant awarded E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1 34016 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 115 / Wednesday, June 16, 2010 / Rules and Regulations under this subpart may not exceed 100 percent of the total cost of the project, but may be less than total cost of the project. (b) The total cost of a project under this subpart may include any or all of the following costs: (1) Administration and design costs, e.g., architectural and engineering fees, inspection fees, and printing and advertising costs. (2) Construction costs. (3) The cost of VA-approved equipment that is necessary for the completion of the project. (c) The total cost of a project under this subpart may not include the cost of any of the following: (1) Land acquisition; (2) Buildings of any type; (3) Improvements not on cemetery land, such as access roads or utilities; (4) Office supplies or consumable goods (such as fuel and fertilizer) that are routinely used in a cemetery; or (5) Project contingency costs. (d) VA shall certify approved applications to the Secretary of the Treasury in the amount of the grant, and shall designate the appropriation from which it shall be paid. Funds paid for the operation and maintenance of a veterans cemetery must be used solely for carrying out approved projects. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with RULES § 39.101 Payment of grant award. The amount of an Operation and Maintenance Project grant award will be paid to the State or, if designated by the State representative, the State veterans cemetery for which such project is being carried out, or any other State agency or instrumentality. Such amount shall be paid by way of reimbursement and in installments that are consistent with the progress of the project, as the Director of the State Cemetery Grants Service may determine and certify for payment to the appropriate Federal institution. Funds paid under this section for an approved Operation and Maintenance Project shall be used solely for carrying out such project as approved. As a condition for the final payment, the State representative must submit to VA each of the following: (a) Standard Form 271 (Outlay Report and Request for Reimbursement for Construction Programs); (b) A report on the project accomplishments in accordance with § 39.120 and a request in writing for the final architectural/engineering inspection, including the name and telephone number of the local point of contact for the project; (c) The written statement, ‘‘It is hereby agreed that the monetary commitment of VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Jun 15, 2010 Jkt 220001 the Federal government will have been met and the project will be considered terminated upon payment of this voucher.’’; and (d) Evidence that the State has met its responsibility for an audit under the Single Audit Act of 1984 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et seq.) and § 39.122. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 0348–0002). Subpart D—Grant Recipient Responsibilities, Inspections, and Reports Following Project Completion § 39.120 Documentation of grant accomplishments. Within 60 days of completion of an Operation and Maintenance Project, the State must submit to SCGS a written report regarding the work performed to meet VA’s national shrine standards. This report must be based on the original justification for the grant as noted in § 39.81(b)(10) and must include statistical data and detailed pictures of the work accomplished. (2) The cemetery shall be kept open for public use at reasonable hours based on the time of the year. (c) VA, in coordination with the State, shall inspect the project for compliance with the standards set forth in subpart B of this part for Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects and with the standards set forth in subpart C of this part for Operation and Maintenance Projects at the project’s completion and at least once in every 3year period following completion of the project throughout the period the facility is operated as a State veterans cemetery. The State shall forward to the Director, State Cemetery Grants Service, a copy of the inspection report, giving the date and location the inspection was made and citing any deficiencies and corrective action to be taken or proposed. (d) Failure of a State to comply with any of paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section shall be considered cause for VA to suspend any payments due the State on any project until the compliance failure is corrected. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408; and E.O. 13166, 65 FR 50121) (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirement in this section under control number 2900–0559). § 39.121 State responsibilities following project completion. (a) A State that has received an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project grant or an Operation and Maintenance Project grant shall monitor use of the cemetery by various subgroups and minority groups, including women veterans. If VA determines that under-utilization by any of these groups exists, the State shall establish a program to inform members of these groups about benefits available to them. If a significant number or portion of the population eligible to be served or likely to be directly affected by the grant program needs benefits information in a language other than English, the State shall make such information available in the necessary language. (b) A State veterans cemetery that has received an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project grant or an Operation and Maintenance Project grant shall be operated and maintained as follows: (1) Buildings, grounds, roads, walks, and other structures shall be kept in reasonable repair to prevent undue deterioration and hazards to users. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 § 39.122 Inspections, audits, and reports. (a) A State will allow VA inspectors and auditors to conduct inspections as necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this part. The State will provide to VA evidence that it has met its responsibility under the Single Audit Act of 1984 (see part 41 of this chapter). (b) A State will make an annual report on VA Form 40–0241 (State Cemetery Data) signed by the authorized representative of the State. These forms document current burial activity at the cemetery, use of gravesites, remaining gravesites, and additional operational information intended to answer questions about the status of the grant program. (c) A State will complete and submit to VA a VA Form 40–0895–13 (Certification Regarding Documents and Information Required for State or Tribal Government Cemetery Construction Grants–Post Grant Requirements) to ensure that the grantee is aware of and complies with all grant responsibilities and to properly and timely close out the grant. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900–0559). [FR Doc. 2010–14058 Filed 6–15–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P E:\FR\FM\16JNR1.SGM 16JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 115 (Wednesday, June 16, 2010)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 34004-34016]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14058]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 39

RIN 2900-AM96


State Cemetery Grants

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is issuing this final 
rule to amend regulations governing grants to States for the 
establishment, expansion, and improvement of State veterans cemeteries 
(Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects). We are 
implementing through regulation new statutory authority to provide 
grants for the operation and maintenance of State veterans cemeteries 
(Operation and Maintenance Projects), as authorized by the Dr. James 
Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act of 2007 (the Act), enacted on December 
26, 2007. The Act expands VA authority to provide grants to States for 
operating and maintaining State veterans cemeteries and limits to $5 
million the aggregate amount of such grants VA may award in any fiscal 
year. VA is amending its regulations to outline the process, the 
criteria, and the priorities relating to the award of these Operation 
and Maintenance Project grants. This final rule will also amend our 
regulations by changing the arrangement and numbering of the current 
regulatory sections, incorporating some non-substantive changes to the 
regulations, and removing specific forms from this part that are 
available at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/scg_grants.asp.

DATES: Effective Date: July 16, 2010. The incorporation by reference of 
certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of 
the Federal Register as of July 16, 2010.
    Applicability Date: This final rule shall apply to all applications 
for State cemetery grant funds that are received by VA on or after the 
effective date of this final rule, and to all applications for State 
cemetery grant funds that were pending with VA on that date.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank Salvas, Director of State 
Cemetery Grants Service, National Cemetery Administration (NCA), 
Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington DC 
20420. Telephone: (202) 461-8947 (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 31, 2009, VA published a 
proposed rule in the Federal Register (74 FR 69304) to amend 
regulations in 38 CFR part 39 governing grants to States for 
Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects and to implement 
through regulation new statutory authority to provide grants for 
Operation and Maintenance Projects, as authorized by the Act (Pub. L. 
110-157), enacted on December 26, 2007. VA provided a 60-day comment 
period for the proposed rule that ended March 1, 2010. We received no 
comments. Based on the rationale set forth in the proposed rule, we are 
adopting the provisions of the proposed rule as a final rule with the 
following changes.
    We made a non-substantive change to proposed Sec. Sec.  39.35 and 
39.85, so that those regulations refer to a Memorandum of Agreement, 
rather than a Notification of Award, to be consistent with the title of 
the corresponding VA Form 40-0895-11.
    Also, although we proposed to update references to the 
architectural design codes that apply to grant applicants, we decided 
to update those references in a separate rulemaking. Therefore, we 
removed the references to the updated editions of the various codes in 
proposed Sec.  39.63 and replaced them with references to the 2002 and 
2003 editions of the codes, as appropriate, that were previously 
incorporated by reference into 38 CFR part 39. Similarly, we removed 
the references to the International Mechanical Code and International 
Plumbing Code in proposed Sec.  39.63 and replaced them with references 
to the Uniform Mechanical Code and Uniform Plumbing Code, respectively, 
which were previously incorporated by reference into 38 CFR part 39. We 
did the same with an address from which copies of those two codes can 
be obtained. Therefore, the editions of codes that were previously 
incorporated by reference into 38 CFR part 39 will continue to be 
applicable to grant applicants until the references to the codes are 
updated or changed through rulemaking.

Executive Order 12866

    Executive Order 12866 directs agencies to assess all costs and 
benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, 
and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). The Executive 
Order classifies a ``significant regulatory action,'' requiring review 
by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as any regulatory action 
that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect 
on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a 
material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, 
competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, 
local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) create a serious 
inconsistency or interfere with an action taken or planned by another 
agency; (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, 
grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of 
recipients thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising 
out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles 
set forth in the Executive Order.
    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy 
implications of this final rule have been examined, and it has been 
determined not to be a significant regulatory action under the 
Executive Order.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-
612. This final rule will directly affect only State government 
entities and will not directly affect small entities. Therefore, 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this final rule is exempt from the initial 
and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of sections 603 
and 604.

[[Page 34005]]

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in an expenditure by 
State, local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any year. This final rule will have no such effect on 
State, local, or Tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule at Sec. Sec.  39.31, 39.32, 39.34, 39.81, 39.82, 
39.84, 39.120, and 39.122 contains new collections of information under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521). On December 
31, 2009, in proposed rule published in the Federal Register, we 
requested public comments on the new collections of information. We 
received no comments. OMB has approved the additional collections in 
part 39 under OMB Control Number 2900-0559. We are adding a 
parenthetical statement after the authority citations to all of the 
sections in part 39 for which new collections have been approved so 
that the control number is displayed for each new collection.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number and Title

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance program number and title 
for this final rule is 64.203, State Cemetery Grants.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. John R. 
Gingrich, Chief of Staff, approved this document on June 7, 2010, for 
publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 39

    Cemeteries, Grants programs--veterans, Incorporation by reference, 
Veterans.

    Dated: June 8, 2010.
Robert C. McFetridge,
Director, Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General 
Counsel.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 38 CFR part 39 is revised to 
read as follows:

PART 39--AID TO STATES FOR ESTABLISHMENT, EXPANSION, AND 
IMPROVEMENT, OR OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE, OF VETERANS CEMETERIES

Subpart A--General Provisions
Sec.
39.1 Purpose.
39.2 Definitions.
39.3 Priority list.
39.4 Decision makers, notifications, and additional information.
39.5 Submission of information and documents to VA.
39.6 Amendments to grant application.
39.7 Line item adjustment to grants.
39.8 Withdrawal of grant application.
39.9 Hearings.
39.10 Cemetery requirements and prohibitions and recapture 
provisions.
39.11 State to retain control of operations.
Subpart B--Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects

Grant Requirements and Procedures

39.30 General requirements for a grant.
39.31 Preapplication requirements.
39.32 Plan preparation.
39.33 Conferences.
39.34 Application requirements.
39.35 Final review and approval of application.

Award of Grant

39.50 Amount of grant.
39.51 Payment of grant award.

Standards and Requirements

39.60 General requirements for site selection and construction of 
veterans cemeteries.
39.61 Site planning standards.
39.62 Space criteria for support facilities.
39.63 Architectural design standards.
Subpart C--Operation and Maintenance Projects

Grant Requirements and Procedures

39.80 General requirements for a grant.
39.81 Preapplication requirements.
39.82 Plan preparation.
39.83 Conferences.
39.84 Application requirements.
39.85 Final review and approval of application.

Award of Grant

39.100 Amount of grant.
39.101 Payment of grant award.
Subpart D--Grant Recipient Responsibilities, Inspections, and Reports 
Following Project Completion
39.120 Documentation of grant accomplishments.
39.121 State responsibilities following project completion.
39.122 Inspections, audits, and reports.

    Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 2408, 2411.

Subpart A--General Provisions


Sec.  39.1  Purpose.

    This part sets forth the mechanism for a State to obtain a grant to 
establish, expand, or improve a veterans cemetery that is or will be 
owned by the State or to obtain a grant to operate or maintain a State 
veterans cemetery to meet VA's national shrine standards of appearance.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.2  Definitions.

    For the purpose of this part:
    (a) Establishment means the process of site selection, land 
acquisition, design and planning, earth moving, landscaping, 
construction, and provision of initial operating equipment necessary to 
convert a tract of land to an operational veterans cemetery.
    (b) Expansion means an increase in the burial capacity or acreage 
of an existing cemetery through the addition of gravesites and other 
facilities, such as committal service shelters, crypts (preplaced grave 
liners), and columbaria, necessary for the functioning of a cemetery.
    (c) Improvement means the enhancement of a cemetery through 
landscaping, construction, or renovation of cemetery infrastructure, 
such as building expansion and upgrades to roads and irrigation 
systems, that is not directly related to the development of new 
gravesites; nonrecurring maintenance; and the addition of other 
features appropriate to cemeteries.
    (d) Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project means an 
undertaking to establish, expand, or improve a site for use as a State-
owned veterans cemetery.
    (e) Operation and Maintenance Project means a project that assists 
a State to achieve VA's national shrine standards of appearance in the 
key cemetery operational areas of cleanliness, height and alignment of 
headstones and markers, leveling of gravesites, and turf conditions.
    (f) Secretary means the Secretary of the United States Department 
of Veterans Affairs.
    (g) State means each of the States, Territories, and possessions of 
the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico.
    (h) State Cemetery Grants Service (SCGS) means the State Cemetery 
Grants Service within VA's National Cemetery Administration (NCA).
    (i) VA means the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or 
the State Cemetery Grants Service.
    (j) Veteran means a person who served in the active military, 
naval, or air service and who died in line of duty

[[Page 34006]]

while in service or was discharged or released under conditions other 
than dishonorable.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 101, 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.3  Priority list.

    (a) The priority groups, with Priority Group 1 having the highest 
priority and Priority Group 4 the lowest priority, are:
    (1) Priority Group 1--Projects needed to avoid disruption in burial 
service that would otherwise occur at existing veterans cemeteries 
within 4 years of the date of the preapplication. Such projects would 
include expansion projects as well as improvement projects (such as 
construction of additional or replacement facilities) when such 
improvements are required to continue interment operations.
    (2) Priority Group 2--Projects for the establishment of new 
veterans cemeteries.
    (3) Priority Group 3--Expansion projects at existing veterans 
cemeteries when a disruption in burial service due to the exhaustion of 
existing gravesites is not expected to occur within 4 years of the date 
of the preapplication.
    (4) Priority Group 4--Improvement projects for cemetery landscaping 
or infrastructure, such as building expansion and upgrades to roads and 
irrigation systems, that are not directly related to the development of 
new gravesites. Operation and Maintenance Projects that address NCA's 
national shrine standards of appearance are included in this group.
    (b) Within Priority Groups 1, 2, and 3, highest priority will be 
given to projects in geographical locations with the greatest number of 
veterans who will benefit from the project as determined by VA. This 
prioritization system, based on veteran population data, will assist VA 
in maintaining and improving access to burial in a veterans cemetery to 
more veterans and their eligible family members. Within Priority Group 
1, at the discretion of VA, higher priority may be given to a project 
that must be funded that fiscal year to avoid disruption in burial 
service.
    (c) Grants for projects within Priority Group 4 will be awarded in 
any fiscal year only after grants for all project applications under 
Priority Groups 1, 2, and 3 that are ready for funding have been 
awarded. Within Priority Group 4, projects will be ranked in priority 
order based upon VA's determination of the relative importance of 
proposed improvements and the degree to which proposed Operation and 
Maintenance Projects achieve NCA national shrine standards of 
appearance. No more than $5 million in any fiscal year will be awarded 
for Operation and Maintenance Projects under Priority Group 4.
    (d) By August 15 of each year, VA will make a list prioritizing all 
preapplications that were received on or before July 1 of that year and 
that were approved under Sec.  39.31 or Sec.  39.81, ranking them in 
their order of priority within the applicable Priority Group for 
funding during the fiscal year that begins the following October 1. 
Preapplications from previous years will be re-prioritized each year 
and do not need to be resubmitted.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.4  Decision makers, notifications, and additional information.

    Decisions required under this part will be made by the VA Director, 
State Cemetery Grants Service (SCGS), National Cemetery Administration, 
unless otherwise specified in this part. The VA decision maker will 
provide to affected States written notice of approvals, denials, or 
requests for additional information under this part.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.5  Submission of information and documents to VA.

    All information and documents required to be submitted to VA must 
be submitted to the Director of the State Cemetery Grants Service, 
National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 
Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420. All forms cited in this part 
are available at http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/scg_grants.asp.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.6  Amendments to grant application.

    A State seeking to amend a grant application must submit revised 
Standard Forms 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and 424C 
(Budget Information) with a narrative description of, and justification 
for, the amendment. Any amendment of an application that changes the 
scope of the application or increases the amount of the grant 
requested, whether or not the application has already been approved, 
shall be subject to approval by VA in the same manner as an original 
application.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)


(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information 
collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040-
0004 and 4040-0008).


Sec.  39.7  Line item adjustment to grants.

    After a grant has been awarded, upon request from the State 
representative, VA may approve a change in one or more line items (line 
items are identified in Standard Form 424C) of up to 10 percent 
(increase or decrease) of the cost of each line item if the change 
would be within the scope or objective of the project and the aggregate 
adjustments would not increase the total amount of the grant.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.8  Withdrawal of grant application.

    A State representative may withdraw an application by submitting to 
VA a written document requesting withdrawal.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.9  Hearings.

    (a) No application for a grant under this part shall be disapproved 
until the applicant has been afforded an opportunity for a hearing.
    (b) Whenever a hearing is requested under this section, notice of 
the hearing, procedure for the conduct of such hearing, and procedures 
relating to decisions and notices shall accord with the provisions of 
Sec. Sec.  18.9 and 18.10 of this chapter. Failure of an applicant to 
request a hearing under this section or to appear at a hearing for 
which a date has been set shall be deemed to be a waiver of the right 
to be heard and constitutes consent to the making of a decision on the 
basis of such information as is available.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.10  Cemetery requirements and prohibitions and recapture 
provisions.

    (a) In order to qualify for a grant, a State veterans cemetery must 
be operated solely for the interment of veterans, their spouses, 
surviving spouses, minor children, and unmarried adult children who 
were physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support.
    (b) Any grant under this part made on or after November 21, 1997, 
is made on the condition that, after the date of receipt of the grant, 
the State receiving the grant, subject to requirements for receipt of 
notice in 38 U.S.C. 2408 and 2411, will prohibit in the cemetery for 
which the grant is awarded the interment of the remains or the 
memorialization of any person:
    (1) Who has been convicted of a Federal capital crime, as defined 
in 38 CFR 38.600(b), and whose conviction is final, other than a person 
whose sentence was commuted by the President;
    (2) Who has been convicted of a State capital crime, as defined in 
38 CFR 38.600(b), and whose conviction is final, other than a person 
whose sentence was commuted by the Governor of a State.

[[Page 34007]]

    (3) Who has been found by an appropriate State official, as defined 
in 38 CFR 38.600(b), under procedures to be established by the State, 
to have committed a Federal or State capital crime, as defined in 38 
CFR 38.600(b), but to have not been convicted of such crime by reason 
of unavailability for trial due to death or flight to avoid 
prosecution.
    (c) If a State which has received a grant under this part ceases to 
own the cemetery for which the grant was made, ceases to operate such 
cemetery as a veterans cemetery in accordance with paragraph (a) of 
this section, violates the prohibition in paragraph (b) of this 
section, or uses any part of the funds provided through such grant for 
a purpose other than that for which the grant was made, the United 
States shall be entitled to recover from the State the total of all 
grants made to the State under this part in connection with such 
cemetery.
    (d) If, within 3 years after VA has certified to the Department of 
the Treasury an approved grant application, not all funds from the 
grant have been used by the State for the purpose for which the grant 
was made, the United States shall be entitled to recover any unused 
grant funds from the State.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408, 2411)

Sec.  39.11  State to retain control of operations.

    Neither the Secretary nor any employee of VA shall exercise any 
supervision or control over the administration, personnel, maintenance, 
or operation of any State veterans cemetery that receives a grant under 
this program except as prescribed in this part.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Subpart B--Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects

Grant Requirements and Procedures


Sec.  39.30  General requirements for a grant.

    (a) For a State to obtain a grant for the establishment, expansion, 
or improvement of a State veterans cemetery:
    (1) Its preapplication for the grant must be approved by VA under 
Sec.  39.31(e);
    (2) Its project must be ranked sufficiently high on the priority 
list in Sec.  39.3 for the applicable fiscal year so that funds are 
available for the project;
    (3) Its plans and specifications for the project must be approved 
by VA under Sec.  39.32;
    (4) The State must meet the application requirements in Sec.  
39.34; and
    (5) Other requirements specified in Sec. Sec.  39.6, 39.10, and 
39.33 must be satisfied.
    (b) VA may approve under Sec.  39.35 any application under this 
subpart up to the amount of the grant requested once the requirements 
under paragraph (a) of this section have been satisfied, provided that 
sufficient funds are available. In determining whether sufficient funds 
are available, VA shall consider the project's priority ranking, the 
total amount of funds available for cemetery grant awards during the 
applicable fiscal year, and the prospects of higher ranking projects 
being ready for the award of a grant before the end of the applicable 
fiscal year.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.31  Preapplication requirements.

    (a) A State seeking a grant of more than $100,000 for the 
establishment, expansion, or improvement of a State veterans cemetery 
must submit a preapplication to the Director, State Cemetery Grants 
Service, through http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/scg_grants.asp.
    (b) No detailed drawings, plans, or specifications are required 
with the preapplication. As a part of the preapplication, the State 
must submit each of the following:
    (1) Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) and 
Standard Form 424C (Budget Information) signed by the authorized 
representative of the State. These forms document the amount of the 
grant requested, which may not exceed 100 percent of the estimated cost 
of the project to be funded with the grant.
    (2) A program narrative describing the objectives of the project, 
the need for a grant, the method of accomplishment, the projected 
interment rate, and the results or benefits expected to be obtained 
from the assistance requested.
    (3) If a site has been selected, a description of the geographic 
location of the project (i.e., a map showing the location of the 
project and all appropriate geographic boundaries, and any other 
supporting documentation, as needed).
    (4) A design concept describing the major features of the project 
including the number and types of gravesites, such as columbarium 
niches.
    (5) Any comments or recommendations made by the State's ``Single 
Point of Contact'' reviewing agency.
    (6) VA Form 40-0895-2 (Certification of Compliance with Provisions 
of the Davis-Bacon Act) to certify that the State has obtained the 
latest prevailing wage rates for Federally funded projects. Any 
construction project fully or partially funded with Federal dollars 
must comply with those rates for specific work by trade employees 
(e.g., electricians, carpenters).
    (7) VA Form 40-0895-3 (State or Tribal Government Cemetery Grants 
Service Space Program Analysis--Buildings) to provide information on 
the proposed size of cemetery buildings, based on VA guidance on the 
net and gross square footage standards for cemetery buildings. This 
standard is based on a workload of 1-6 burials per day.
    (8) VA Form 40-0895-6 (Certification of State or Tribal Government 
Matching Architectural and Engineering Funds to Qualify for Group 1 on 
the Priority List) to provide documentation that the State has 
legislative authority to support the project and the resources 
necessary to initially fund the architectural and engineering portion 
of the project development. Once the grant is awarded, VA will 
reimburse the applicant for all allowable architectural and engineering 
costs.
    (9) VA Form 40-0895-7 (Certification Regarding Debarment, 
Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters--Primary Covered 
Transactions (State or Tribal Government)) to ensure that the applicant 
has not been debarred or suspended, and is eligible to participate in 
the VA grant process and receive Federal funds.
    (10) VA Form 40-0895-8 (Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace 
Requirements for Grantees Other Than Individuals) to ensure that the 
applicant complies with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 at the 
location where the construction will occur.
    (11) VA Form 40-0895-9 (Certification Regarding Lobbying) to ensure 
that the applicant complies with Public Law 101-121 regarding the 
prohibition against any payments to anyone that influences or attempts 
to influence an officer or Member of Congress in connection with the 
award of a grant.
    (12) VA Form 40-0895-10 (Certification of Compliance with Federal 
Requirements--State or Tribal Government Construction Grant) to ensure 
that the applicant complies with all requirements of Part 39.
    (13) VA Form 40-0895-15 (Certification of Cemetery Maintained in 
Accordance with National Cemetery Administration Standards) to ensure 
that any cemetery established, expanded, or improved through a grant 
will be operated and maintained in accordance with the operational 
standards of NCA.

[[Page 34008]]

    (c) In addition, the State must submit written assurance of each of 
the following conditions:
    (1) Any cemetery established, expanded, or improved through a grant 
will be used exclusively for the interment or memorialization of 
eligible persons, as set forth in Sec.  39.10(a), whose interment or 
memorialization is not contrary to the conditions of the grant (see 
Sec.  39.10(b) and 38 U.S.C. 2408(d) and 2411).
    (2) Title to the site is or will be vested solely in the State.
    (3) The State possesses legal authority to apply for the grant and 
to finance and construct the proposed facilities; i.e., legislation or 
similar action has been duly adopted or passed as an official act of 
the applicant's governing body, authorizing the filing of the 
application, including all understandings and assurances contained 
therein, and directing and authorizing the person identified as the 
official representative of the State to act in connection with the 
application and to provide such additional information as may be 
required.
    (4) The State will assist VA in assuring that the grant complies 
with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as 
amended (16 U.S.C. 470), Executive Order 11593 (identification and 
protection of historic properties), and the Archaeological and Historic 
Preservation Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 469a-1 et seq.).
    (5) The State will obtain approval by VA of the final construction 
drawings and specifications before the project is advertised or placed 
on the market for bidding; it will construct the project, or cause the 
project to be constructed, to completion in accordance with the 
application and approved plans and specifications; it will submit to 
the Director of the State Cemetery Grants Service, for prior approval, 
changes that alter any cost of the project, use of space, or functional 
layout; and it will not enter into a construction contract for the 
project or undertake other activities until the requirements of the 
grant program have been met.
    (6) The State will comply with the Federal requirements in 2 CFR 
parts 180 and 801 and 38 CFR part 43 and submit Standard Form 424D 
(Assurances--Construction Programs).
    (7) The State will prepare an Environmental Assessment to determine 
whether an Environmental Impact Statement is necessary, and certify 
that funds are available to finance any costs related to preparation of 
the Environmental Assessment.
    (d) The State must submit a copy of the legislation, as enacted 
into law, authorizing the establishment, maintenance, and operation of 
the facility as a veterans cemetery in accordance with 38 CFR 39.10(a).
    (e) Upon receipt of a complete preapplication for a grant, 
including all necessary assurances and all required supporting 
documentation, VA will determine whether the preapplication conforms to 
all requirements listed in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section, 
including whether it contains sufficient information necessary to 
establish the project's priority. VA will notify the State of any 
nonconformity. If the preapplication does conform, VA shall notify the 
State that the preapplication has been found to meet the preapplication 
requirements, and the proposed project will be included in the next 
scheduled ranking of projects, as indicated in Sec.  39.3(d).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408, 2411)


(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information 
collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040-
0004, 4040-0008, 4040-0009, and 2900-0559.)


Sec.  39.32  Plan preparation.

    The State must prepare Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement 
Project plans and specifications in accordance with the requirements of 
this section for review by the SCGS. The plans and specifications must 
be approved by the SCGS prior to the State's solicitation for 
construction bids. Once SCGS approves the plans and specifications, the 
State must obtain construction bids and determine the successful bidder 
prior to submission of the application. The State must establish 
procedures for determining that costs are reasonable and necessary and 
can be allocated in accordance with the provisions of Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-87. Once the Establishment, 
Expansion, and Improvement Project preapplication and the project's 
plans and specifications have been approved, an application for 
assistance must be submitted in compliance with the uniform 
requirements for grants-in-aid to State and local governments 
prescribed by OMB Circular No. A-102, Revised.
    (a) General. These requirements have been established for the 
guidance of the State agency and the design team to provide a standard 
for preparation of drawings, specifications, and estimates.
    (b) Technical requirements. The State should meet these technical 
requirements as soon as possible after VA approves the Establishment, 
Expansion, and Improvement Project preapplication.
    (1) Boundary and site survey. The State agency shall provide a 
survey of the site and furnish a legal description of the site. A 
boundary and site survey need not be submitted if one was submitted for 
a previously approved project and there have been no changes. Relevant 
information may then be shown on the site plan. If required, the site 
survey shall show each of the following items:
    (i) The outline and location referenced to boundaries of all 
existing buildings, streets, alleys (whether public or private), block 
boundaries, easements, encroachments, the names of streets, railroads, 
and streams, and other information as specified. If there is nothing of 
this character affecting the property, the Surveyor shall so state on 
the drawings.
    (ii) The point of beginning, bearing, distances, and interior 
angles. Closure computations shall be furnished with the survey, and 
error of closure shall not exceed 1 foot for each 10,000 feet of lineal 
traverse. Boundaries of an unusual nature (curvilinear, off-set, or 
having other change or direction between corners) shall be referenced 
with curve data (including measurement chord) and other data sufficient 
for replacement, and such information shall be shown on the map. For 
boundaries of such nature, coordinates shall be given for all angles 
and other pertinent points.
    (iii) The area of the parcel in acres or in square feet.
    (iv) The location of all monuments.
    (v) Delineation of 100-year floodplain and source.
    (vi) The signature and certification of the Surveyor.
    (2) Soil investigation. The State shall provide a soil 
investigation of the scope necessary to ascertain site characteristics 
for construction and burial or to determine foundation requirements and 
utility service connections. A new soil investigation is not required 
if one was done for a previously approved project on the same site and 
information from the previous investigation is adequate and unchanged. 
Soil investigation, when done, shall be documented in a signed report. 
The investigation shall be adequate to determine the subsoil 
conditions. The investigation shall include a sufficient number of test 
pits or test borings as will determine, in the judgment of the 
architect, the true conditions. The following information will be 
covered in the report:
    (i) Thickness, consistency, character, and estimated safe bearing 
value where needed for structural foundation design of the various 
strata encountered in each pit or boring.

[[Page 34009]]

    (ii) Amount and elevation of ground water encountered in each pit 
or boring, its probable variation with the seasons, and effect on the 
subsoil.
    (iii) The elevation of rock, if known, and the probability of 
encountering quicksand.
    (iv) If the site is underlaid with mines, the elevations and 
location of the tops of the mine workings relative to the site, or old 
workings located in the vicinity.
    (3) Topographical survey. A topographical survey in 1-foot contour 
intervals shall be prepared for projects establishing new cemeteries 
and for significant expansion projects in previously undeveloped land.
    (c) Master plan. A master plan showing the proposed layout of all 
facilities--including buildings, roadways, and burial sections--on the 
selected site shall be prepared for all new cemetery establishment 
projects for approval by the SCGS. If the project is to be phased into 
different year programs, the phasing shall be indicated. The master 
plan shall analyze all factors affecting the design, including climate, 
soil conditions, site boundaries, topography, views, hydrology, 
environmental constraints, transportation access, etc. It should 
provide a discussion of alternate designs that were considered. In the 
case of an expansion project or improvement project, the work 
contemplated should be consistent with the VA-approved master plan or a 
justification for the deviation should be provided.
    (d) Preliminary or ``design development'' drawings. Following VA 
approval of the master plan, the State must submit design development 
drawings that show all current phase construction elements to be funded 
by the grant. The drawings must comply with the following requirements:
    (1) Site development and environmental plans must include locations 
of structures, demolition, parking, roads, service areas, walks, 
plazas, memorial paths, other paved areas, landscape buffer and major 
groupings, and interment areas (including quantity of gravesites in 
each area). A grading plan including existing and proposed contours at 
1-foot intervals of the entire area affected by the site work must be 
submitted. A site plan of the immediate area around each building shall 
be drawn to a convenient scale and shall show the building floor plan, 
utility connections, walks, gates, walls or fences, flagpoles, drives, 
parking areas, indication of handicapped provisions, landscaping, north 
arrow, and any other appropriate items.
    (2) Floor plans of all levels at a convenient scale shall be 
double-line drawings and shall show overall dimensions, construction 
materials, door swings, names and square feet for each space, toilet 
room fixtures, and interior finish schedule.
    (3) Elevations of the exteriors of all buildings shall be drawn to 
the same scale as the plan and shall include all material indications.
    (4) Preliminary mechanical and electrical layout plans shall be 
drawn at a convenient scale and shall have an equipment and plumbing 
fixture schedule.
    (e) Final construction drawings and specifications. Funds for the 
construction of any project being assisted under this program will not 
be released until VA approves the final construction drawings and 
specifications. If VA approves them, VA shall send the State a written 
letter of approval indicating that the project's plans and 
specifications comply with the terms and conditions as prescribed by 
VA. This does not constitute approval of the contract documents. It is 
the responsibility of the State to ascertain that all State and Federal 
requirements have been met and that the drawings and specifications are 
acceptable for bid purposes.
    (1) General. The State shall prepare final working drawings so that 
clear and distinct prints may be obtained. These drawings must be 
accurately dimensioned to include all necessary explanatory notes, 
schedules, and legends. Working drawings shall be complete and adequate 
for VA review and comment. The State shall prepare separate drawings 
for each of the following types of work: architectural, equipment, 
layout, structural, heating and ventilating, plumbing, and electrical.
    (2) Architectural drawings. The State shall submit drawings which 
include: All structures and other work to be removed; all floor plans 
if any new work is involved; all elevations which are affected by the 
alterations; building sections; demolition drawings; all details to 
complete the proposed work and finish schedules; and fully dimensioned 
floor plans at 1/8'' or 1/4'' scale.
    (3) Equipment drawings. The State shall submit a list of all 
equipment to be provided under terms of the grant in the case of an 
Establishment Project. Large-scale drawings of typical special rooms 
indicating all fixed equipment and major items of furniture and 
moveable equipment shall be included.
    (4) Layout drawings. The State shall submit a layout plan that 
shows:
    (i) All proposed features such as roads, buildings, walks, utility 
lines, burial layout, etc.
    (ii) Contours, scale, north arrow, and legend showing existing 
trees.
    (iii) A graphic or keyed method of showing plant types as well as 
quantities of each plant.
    (iv) Plant list with the following: key, quantity, botanical name, 
common name, size, and remarks.
    (v) Typical tree and shrub planting details.
    (vi) Areas to be seeded or sodded.
    (vii) Areas to be mulched.
    (viii) Gravesite section layout with permanent section monument 
markers and lettering system.
    (ix) Individual gravesite layout and numbering system. If the 
cemetery is existing and the project is expansion or renovation, show 
available, occupied, obstructed, and reserved gravesites.
    (x) Direction the headstones face.
    (5) Structural drawings. The State shall submit complete foundation 
and framing plans and details, with general notes to include: governing 
code, material strengths, live loads, wind loads, foundation design 
values, and seismic zone.
    (6) Mechanical drawings. The State shall submit:
    (i) Heating and ventilation drawings showing complete systems and 
details of air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and exhaust; and
    (ii) Plumbing drawings showing sizes and elevations of soil and 
waste systems, sizes of all hot and cold water piping, drainage and 
vent systems, plumbing fixtures, and riser diagrams.
    (7) Electrical drawings. The State shall submit separate drawings 
for lighting and power, including drawings of:
    (i) Service entrance, feeders, and all characteristics;
    (ii) All panel, breaker, switchboard, and fixture schedules;
    (iii) All lighting outlets, receptacles, switches, power outlets, 
and circuits; and
    (iv) Telephone layout, fire alarm systems, and emergency lighting.
    (8) Final specifications. Final specifications (to be used for bid 
purposes) shall be in completed format. Specifications shall include 
the invitations for bids, cover or title sheet, index, general 
requirements, form of bid bond, form of agreement, performance and 
payment bond forms, and sections describing materials and workmanship 
in detail for each class of work.
    (9) Cost estimates. The State shall show in convenient form and 
detail the estimated total cost of the work to be performed under the 
contract, including provisions of fixed equipment shown by

[[Page 34010]]

the plans and specifications, if applicable, to reflect the changes of 
the approved financial plan. Estimates shall be summarized and totaled 
under each trade or type of work. Estimates shall also be provided for 
each building structure and other important features such as the 
assembly area and shall include burial facilities.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)


(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information 
collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-
0559).


Sec.  39.33  Conferences.

    (a) Predesign conference. A predesign conference is required for 
all Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects requiring major 
construction, primarily to ensure that the State agency becomes 
oriented to VA procedures, requirements, and any technical comments 
pertaining to the project. This conference will take place at an 
appropriate location near the proposed site and should include a site 
visit to ensure that all parties to the process, including NCA staff, 
are familiar with the site and its characteristics.
    (b) Additional conferences. At any time, VA may recommend an 
additional conference (such as a design development conference) be held 
in VA Central Office in Washington, DC, to provide an opportunity for 
the State and its architects to discuss with VA officials the 
requirements for a grant.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.34  Application requirements.

    (a) For an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project to be 
considered for grant funding under this subpart, the State must submit 
an application (as opposed to a preapplication) consisting of the 
following:
    (1) Standard Form 424 (Application for Federal Assistance) with the 
box labeled ``application'' marked;
    (2) Standard Form 424C (Budget Information), which documents the 
amount of funds requested based on the construction costs as estimated 
by the successful construction bid;
    (3) A copy of itemized bid tabulations (If there are non-VA 
participating areas, these shall be itemized separately.); and
    (4) Standard Form 424D (Assurances--Construction Program).
    (5) VA Form 40-0895-11 (Memorandum of Agreement for a Grant to 
Construct or Modify a State or Tribal Government Veterans Cemetery) to 
identify the parties (VA and applicant), identify the scope of the 
project, and indicate how the grant award funds will be paid to the 
applicant.
    (6) VA Form 40-0895-12 (Certification Regarding Debarment, 
Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion--Lower Tier Covered 
Transactions (Contractor)) to ensure that the contractor has not been 
debarred or suspended, and is eligible to participate in the VA grant 
process and receive Federal funds.
    (b) Prior to submission of the application, the State must submit a 
copy of an Environmental Assessment to determine if an Environmental 
Impact Statement is necessary for compliance with section 102(2)(C) of 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 
4332). The Environmental Assessment must briefly describe the project's 
possible beneficial and harmful effects on the following impact 
categories:
    (1) Transportation;
    (2) Air quality;
    (3) Noise;
    (4) Solid waste;
    (5) Utilities;
    (6) Geology (Soils/Hydrology/Floodplains);
    (7) Water quality;
    (8) Land use;
    (9) Vegetation, Wildlife, Aquatic, Ecology/Wetlands, etc.;
    (10) Economic activities;
    (11) Cultural resources;
    (12) Aesthetics;
    (13) Residential population;
    (14) Community services and facilities;
    (15) Community plans and projects; and
    (16) Other.
    (c) If an adverse environmental impact is anticipated, the State 
must explain what action will be taken to minimize the impact. The 
assessment shall comply with the requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)


(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information 
collection requirements in this section under control numbers 4040-
0004, 4040-0008, 4040-0009, and 2900-0559).


Sec.  39.35  Final review and approval of application.

    Following VA approval of bid tabulations and cost estimates, VA 
will review the complete Establishment, Expansion and Improvement 
Project grant application for approval in accordance with the 
requirements of Sec.  39.30. If the application is approved, the grant 
will be awarded by a Memorandum of Agreement of Federal grant funds.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Award of Grant


Sec.  39.50  Amount of grant.

    (a) The amount of an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement 
Project grant awarded under this subpart may not exceed 100 percent of 
the total cost of the project, but may be less than the total cost of 
the project.
    (b) The total cost of a project under this subpart may include:
    (1) Administration and design costs, e.g., architectural and 
engineering fees, inspection fees, and printing and advertising costs.
    (2) The cost of cemetery features, e.g., entry features, flag plaza 
and assembly areas, columbaria, preplaced liners or crypts, irrigation 
systems, committal-service shelters, and administration/maintenance 
buildings.
    (3) In the case of an establishment grant, the cost of equipment 
necessary for the operation of the State veterans cemetery. This may 
include the cost of non-fixed equipment such as grounds maintenance 
equipment, burial equipment, and office equipment.
    (4) In the case of an improvement or expansion grant, the cost of 
equipment necessary for operation of the State veterans cemetery, but 
only if such equipment:
    (i) Was included in the construction contract;
    (ii) Was installed during construction; and
    (iii) Is permanently affixed to a building or connected to the 
heating, ventilating, air conditioning, or other service distributed 
through a building via ducts, pipes, wires, or other connecting device, 
such as kitchen and intercommunication equipment, built-in cabinets, 
and equipment lifts.
    (5) A contingency allowance not to exceed five percent of the total 
cost of a project that involves new construction or eight percent of 
the total cost of an improvement project that does not involve new 
construction.
    (c) The total cost of a project under this subpart may not include 
the cost of:
    (1) Land acquisition;
    (2) Building space that exceeds the space guidelines specified in 
this part;
    (3) Improvements not on cemetery land, such as access roads or 
utilities;
    (4) Maintenance or repair work;
    (5) Office supplies or consumable goods (such as fuel and 
fertilizer) that are routinely used in a cemetery; or
    (6) Fully enclosed, climate-controlled, committal-service 
facilities, freestanding chapels, or chapels that are part of an 
administrative building or information center.

[[Page 34011]]

    (d) VA shall certify approved applications to the Secretary of the 
Treasury in the amount of the grant, and shall designate the 
appropriation from which it shall be paid. Funds paid for the 
establishment, expansion, or improvement of a veterans cemetery must be 
used solely for carrying out approved projects.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.51  Payment of grant award.

    The amount of an Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project 
grant award will be paid to the State or, if designated by the State 
representative, the State veterans cemetery for which such project is 
being carried out, or any other State agency or instrumentality. Such 
amount shall be paid by way of reimbursement, and in installments that 
are consistent with the progress of the project, as the Director of the 
State Cemetery Grants Service may determine and certify for payment to 
the appropriate Federal institution. Funds paid under this section for 
an approved Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Project shall be 
used solely for carrying out such project as approved. As a condition 
for the final payment, the State representative must submit to VA the 
following:
    (a) Standard Form 271 (Outlay Report and Request for Reimbursement 
for Construction Programs);
    (b) A request in writing for the final architectural/engineering 
inspection, including the name and telephone number of the local point 
of contact for the project;
    (c) The written statement, ``It is hereby agreed that the monetary 
commitment of the Federal government will have been met and the project 
will be considered terminated upon payment of this voucher.''; and
    (d) Evidence that the State has met its responsibility for an audit 
under the Single Audit Act of 1984 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et seq.) and Sec.  
39.122, if applicable.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)


(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information 
collection requirements in this section under control number 0348-
0002).

Standards and Requirements


Sec.  39.60  General requirements for site selection and construction 
of veterans cemeteries.

    (a) The various codes, requirements, and recommendations of State 
and local authorities or technical and professional organizations, to 
the extent and manner in which those codes, requirements, and 
recommendations are referenced in this subpart, are applicable to 
grants involving construction of veterans cemeteries. Additional 
information concerning these codes, requirements, and recommendations 
may be obtained from VA, National Cemetery Administration, 810 Vermont 
Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420.
    (b) The standards in Sec. Sec.  39.60, 39.61, 39.62, and 39.63 
constitute general design and construction criteria and shall apply to 
all Establishment, Expansion, and Improvement Projects for which 
Federal assistance is requested under 38 U.S.C. 2408.
    (c) In developing these standards, no attempt has been made to 
comply with all of the various State and local codes and regulations. 
The standards contained in Sec. Sec.  39.60, 39.61, 39.62, and 39.63 
shall be followed where they exceed State or local codes and 
regulations. Departure will be permitted, however, when alternate 
standards are demonstrated to provide equivalent or better design 
criteria than the standards in these sections. Conversely, compliance 
is required with State and local codes where such requirements provide 
a standard higher than those in these sections. The additional cost, if 
any, in using standards that are higher than those of VA should be 
documented and justified in the application.
    (d) The space criteria and area requirements referred to in these 
standards shall be used as a guide in planning. Additional area and 
facilities beyond those specified as basic may be included if found to 
be necessary to meet the functional requirements of the project but are 
subject to approval by VA. Substantial deviation from the space 
criteria or area standards shall be carefully considered and justified. 
Failing to meet the criteria or standards or exceeding them by more 
than 10 percent in the completed plan would be regarded as evidence of 
inferior design or as exceeding the boundaries of professional 
requirements. In those projects that unjustifiably exceed maximum space 
criteria or area requirements, VA funding may be subject to reduction 
in proportion to the amount by which the space or area of the cemetery 
exceeds the maximum specified in these standards.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.61  Site planning standards.

    (a) Site selection--(1) Location. The land should be located as 
close as possible to the densest veteran population in the area under 
consideration.
    (2) Size. Sufficient acreage shall be available to provide 
gravesites for estimated needs for at least 20 years. More acreage 
should be provided where feasible. Acreage could vary depending on the 
State veteran population and national cemetery availability.
    (3) Accessibility. The site should be readily accessible by 
highway. Offsite improvements shall not be funded by the grant.
    (4) Topography. The land should range from comparatively level to 
rolling and moderately hilly terrain. Natural rugged contours are 
suitable only if development and maintenance costs would not be 
excessive and burial areas would be accessible to elderly or infirm 
visitors. The land shall not be subject to flooding.
    (5) Water table. The water table should be lower than the maximum 
proposed depth of burial.
    (6) Soil requirements. The soil should be free from rock, muck, 
unstable composition, and other materials that would hamper the 
economical excavation of graves by normal methods. In general, the soil 
should meet the standards of good agricultural land that is capable of 
supporting turf and trees, with normal care and without the addition of 
topsoil.
    (7) Utilities. Electricity and gas, if required, should be 
available. Offsite improvements shall not be funded by the grant.
    (8) Water supply. An adequate supply of water should be available. 
Offsite improvements shall not be funded by the grant.
    (9) Sewerage. An approved means to dispose of storm flow and sewage 
from the facility should be available. Offsite improvements shall not 
be funded by the grant.
    (b) Site development requirements--(1) General. The development 
plan shall provide for adequate hard-surfaced roads, walks, parking 
areas, public rest rooms, a flag circle, and a main gate.
    (2) Parking. All parking facilities shall include provisions to 
accommodate the physically handicapped. A minimum of one space shall be 
set aside and identified with signage in each parking area with 
additional spaces provided in the ratio of 1 handicapped space to every 
20 regular spaces. Handicapped spaces shall not be placed between two 
conventional diagonal or head-on parking spaces. Each of the 
handicapped parking spaces shall not be less than 9 feet wide; in 
addition, a clear space 4 feet wide shall be provided between the 
adjacent conventional parking spaces and also on the outside of the end 
spaces. Parking shall not be provided for large numbers of people 
attending ceremonial events such as Memorial Day services.

[[Page 34012]]

    (3) Roads. Roads should generally follow the topography of the 
cemetery and allow pedestrian access to burial sections on both sides. 
Roads should generally not be used as ``boundaries'' outlining burial 
sections. Extensive bridging should be avoided. Grant program funding 
may not be used to build access roads on property that is not part of 
the cemetery. Road widths shall be compatible with proposed traffic 
flows and volumes. Primary roads shall be generally 24 feet wide.
    (4) Pavement design. The pavement section of all roads, service 
areas, and parking areas shall be designed for the maximum anticipated 
traffic loads and existing soil conditions and in accordance with local 
and State design criteria.
    (5) Curbs. Bituminous roads may be provided with integral curbs and 
gutters constructed of portland cement concrete. Freestanding curbs may 
be substituted when the advantage of using them is clearly indicated. 
All curbs shall have a ``roll-type'' cross section for vehicle and 
equipment access to lawn areas except as may be necessary for traffic 
control. The radii of curbs at road intersections shall not be less 
than 20 feet-0 inches. Curb ramps shall be provided to accommodate the 
physically handicapped and maintenance equipment. Curb ramps shall be 
provided at all intersections of roads and walks. The curb ramps shall 
not be less than 4 feet wide; they shall not have a slope greater than 
8 percent, and preferably not greater than 5 percent. The vertical 
angle between the surface of a curb ramp and the surface of a road or 
gutter shall not be less than 176 degrees; the transition between the 
two surfaces shall be smooth. Curb ramps shall have nonskid surfaces.
    (6) Walks. Walks shall be designed with consideration for the 
physically handicapped and elderly. Walks and ramps designed on an 
incline shall have periodic level platforms. All walks, ramps and 
platforms shall have nonskid surfaces. Any walk shall be ramped if the 
slope exceeds 3 percent. Walks that have gradients from 2 to 3 percent 
shall be provided with level platforms at 200-foot intervals and at 
intersections with other walks. Ramps shall not have a slope greater 
than 8 percent, and preferably not greater than 5 percent. The ramps 
shall have handrails on both sides unless other protective devices are 
provided; every handrail shall have clearance of not less than 1\1/2\ 
inches between the back of the handrail and the wall or any other 
vertical surface behind it. Ramps shall not be less than 4 feet wide 
between curbs; curbs shall be provided on both sides. The curbs shall 
not be less than 4 inches high and 4 inches wide. A level platform in a 
ramp shall not be less than the full width of the ramp and not less 
than 5 feet long. Entrance platforms and ramps shall be provided with 
protective weather barriers to shield them against hazardous conditions 
resulting from inclement weather.
    (7) Steps. Exterior steps may be included in the site development 
as long as provisions are made for use by physically handicapped 
persons.
    (8) Grading. Minimum lawn slopes shall be 2 percent; critical spot 
grade elevations shall be shown on the contract drawings. Insofar as 
practicable, lawn areas shall be designed without steep slopes.
    (9) Landscaping. The landscaping plan should provide for a park-
like setting of harmonious open spaces balanced with groves of 
indigenous and cultivated deciduous and evergreen trees. Shrubbery 
should be kept to a minimum. Steep slopes that are unsuitable for 
interment areas should be kept in their natural state.
    (10) Surface drainage. Surface grades shall be determined in 
coordination with the architectural, structural, and mechanical design 
of buildings and facilities so as to provide proper surface drainage.
    (11) Burial areas. A site plan of the cemetery shall include a 
burial layout. If appropriate, the burial layout should reflect the 
phases of development in the various sections. The first phase of 
construction should contain sufficient burial sites to meet the 
foreseeable demand for at least 10 years. All applicable dimensions of 
roadways, fences, utilities, or other structures shall be indicated on 
the layout.
    (12) Gravesites. Gravesites shall be laid out in uniform pattern. 
There shall be a minimum of 10 feet from the edge of roads and drives 
and a minimum of 20 feet from the boundaries or fence lines. Maximum 
distance from the edge of a permanent road to any gravesite shall not 
be over 275 feet. Temporary roads may be provided to serve areas in 
phase developments.
    (13) Monumentation. Each grave shall be marked with an appropriate 
marker, and each cemetery shall maintain a register of burials setting 
forth the name of each person buried and the designation of the grave 
in which he/she is buried. Permanent gravesite control markers shall be 
installed based on a grid system throughout the burial area unless 
otherwise specified. This will facilitate the gravesite layout, 
placement of utility lines, and alignment of headstones.
    (14) Entrance. The entrance should be an architectural or landscape 
feature that creates a sense of arrival.
    (15) Memorial walkway. Each cemetery should have an area for the 
display of memorials donated by veterans groups and others. Such areas 
may take the form of a path or walkway and should provide a 
contemplative setting for visitors.
    (16) Donation items. Family members and others often wish to donate 
items such as benches and trees. Acceptable items of donation should be 
specified in the cemetery plan. The plan should also designate 
appropriate locations for such items.
    (17) Flag/assembly area. There shall be one primary flagpole for 
the United States flag. This flag shall be lighted. A turf assembly 
area should be developed for major gatherings such as Memorial Day. The 
assembly area may be focused on the flag. The area may also incorporate 
an architectural or a landscape feature that functions as a platform or 
backdrop for speakers.
    (18) Site furnishings. Site furnishings include signage, trash 
receptacles, benches, and flower containers. These items should be 
coordinated and complement each other, the architectural design, and 
the cemetery as a whole. They should be simple, durable, standardized, 
and properly scaled.
    (19) Carillons. The cemetery development plan should include a 
location for a carillon tower. Carillons are normally donated. They are 
not provided for in the grant.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2408)

Sec.  39.62  Space criteria for support facilities.

    These criteria are based on a projected average burial rate of one 
to six per day, staffing by position, and a defined complement of 
maintenance and service equipment. For cemeteries with less than one or 
more than six burials per day, support facilities are considered on an 
individual basis in accordance with Sec.  39.60(d). In converting Net 
Square Feet (NSF) to Gross Square Feet (GSF), a conversion factor of 
1.5 is the maximum allowed. The applicant shall, in support of the 
design, include the following as an attachment to the application: A 
list of all grounds maintenance supplies and equipment and the number 
of Full Time Employees (FTE) by job assignment for the next 10 years.
    (a) Administrative building. The administrative building should be 
approximately 1,600 NSF in total, providing space, as needed, for the 
following:
    (1) Cemetery director's office;

[[Page 34013]]

    (2) Other offices (as needed);
    (3) Administrative staff (lobby/office area);
    (4) Operations (file/office/equipment/work area);
    (5) Family/conference room;
    (6) Military honors team;
    (7) Refreshment unit;
    (8) Housekeeping aide's closet; and
    (9) Restroom facilities.
    (b) Maintenance/service building. The maintenance/service building 
may be combined with the administrative building. The maintenance/
service building should be approximately 2,200 NSF in total, providing 
heated and air conditioned space, as needed, for the following:
    (1) Foreman's office;
    (2) Lunch room;
    (3) Kitchen unit;
    (4) Toilet and locker room facilities;
    (5) Housekeeping aide's closet; and
    (6) Vehicle and equipment maintenance and storage.
    (c) Vehicle and equipment storage. Approximately 275 NSF/Bay as 
needed. Not all types of vehicles and equipment require storage in 
heated space. Based on climatic conditions, it may be justified to rely 
completely on open structures rather than heated structures to protect 
the following types of vehicles and equipme