Within 10 years, Provo will be completely out of cemetery space.
So Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins and the City Council are looking at ways to come up with additional cemetery space.The city owns 3.7 acres adjacent to the Provo cemetery called the cannery property. It was purchased in 1982 for possible cemetery expansion. However, the council voted Tuesday to sell that piece of land and use the proceeds to purchase land for a cemetery in another part of Provo.
The decision of the majority of the council to sell the land was based on the high price of land at the site and on the cost of developing the land for use as a cemetery.
The development cost is high because of the need to remove the old cannery buildings and water problems. The land has a high water table requiring at least four feet of fill before the land could be used for burials. There are also flowing springs on the property that would have to be drained.
Jenkins said the city could purchase three or four times the amount of land for the cost of the cannery property combined with the cost of developing it.
Councilmen Stan Brown and V. Ben Porter objected to the city's plan to sell the cannery property, calling it unnecessary.
Councilman Stephen D. Clark spoke in favor of selling the property. He said the cannery property is depreciating while the value of alternate land appropriate for cemetery use was appreciating.
Clark, Mark Hathaway, Gordon W. Bullock, Barbara Smith and Ronald Last voted to sell the property. Jenkins said revenue from the sell would be set aside for acquiring another city cemetery.