Cemetery talks lively
March 2, 2012
The Summit County Council began the first step in the process to build a cemetery in the Snyderville Basin on Wednesday, preparing a proposal that may be voted on by Basin residents in November.
Helen Strachan with the Summit County Attorney’s office told the Council that a lot of residents support the creation of a cemetery district in the Basin since Park City does not have room for non-residents and the other closest cemeteries are in the East Side or Salt Lake City.
"The first step is to create a resolution of intent to make a cemetery district," Strachan said. "We need the Council to decide on a name, possible location and options of paying."
After the resolution is created, the Council will vote to adopt it. It will then be placed on the General Election ballot in November for residents to vote on.
Council member Sally Elliott said that the resolution of intent does not mean the Council is deciding whether or not to have a cemetery district. It is just the beginning of the process to let residents decide.
The Council agreed to have the proposed district encompass the Park City School District area except for incorporated areas of Park City. Elliott said they are estimating it will cost about $150,000 per year to maintain the cemetery. Divided among the 8,000 residents in the district the Council estimates residents would pay, at most, $20 per-household per-year to support the cemetery district.
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"We will probably do a mix of property taxes to sustain the district and a bond to get the district started," Elliott said. "The initial cost will be more than the cost of maintaining it. We can’t guarantee that everyone paying the cost will have access to the proposed cemetery but that is a guess we would have to make."
The location of the cemetery was not decided upon by the Council but the PRI open space at Kimball Junction was discussed as the best option.
Council member John Hanrahan said that soil samples and landscape surveys should be done before a cemetery location is chosen.
"While there may be better options than the PRI Open Space, if we don’t use county-owned land the price for the cemetery will go up," Hanrahan added.
The PRI open space land-use agreement does allow for a cemetery to be built on the parcel.
The Council members also discussed the possibility that the cemetery be xeriscaped and accommodate "green burials." The County Council is expected to vote on a prepared resolution of intent for the Snyderville Basin Cemetery District in the spring.