The Park Record Editorial, May 28, 2011 |

The Park Record Editorial, May 28, 2011

Another Memorial Day with no cemetery in Basin

Peter Pan would have felt right at home in the Snyderville Basin where, apparently, residents have no need for cemeteries.

Various county commissions and councils have broached the subject many times, but burial plots don’t seem to be high on residents’ priority lists.

That may change if the 2010 Census Data, that suggests America is aging, is any indication.

But while Snyderville Basin residents will have to travel out of their zip code to lay wreaths this Monday, the need for a cemetery is on the agenda once again.

Last Wednesday, the Summit County Council and the Basin Open Space Advisory Committee began discussing plans for an open-space parcel located near Kimball Junction, and council member Sally Elliott has suggested that part of the property should be reserved for a cemetery. So far though, her idea isn’t getting much traction. Nearby residents seem to prefer recreation over final resting places.

Fortunately, Elliott has a long institutional memory and distinctly remembers a promise to accommodate a local cemetery as being part of the pitch to voters when the property was purchased from the landowner, Property Reserve, Inc.

Like other public-health necessities, cemetery services should be an essential part of community planning. But, so far, the Basin has ducked that responsibility.

It’s another unfortunate result of the Basin’s unincorporated status where Special Service Districts must be created to substitute for a municipality.

Inevitably, though, as nearby city and town cemeteries begin to fill up and turn away nonresidents, Snyderville residents will eventually have to support their own cemetery district. And when that time comes, they will thank the elected officials who had the foresight to set aside land for that purpose.

Before the next boom cycle, and while developers are still negotiating major developments, is the time to make that commitment.

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