KAYSVILLE Burials for nonresidents in the new, soon-to-open section of the Kaysville Cemetery will cost $1,000 more than the previous rate as city leaders seek to curb the cemetery's popularity for out-of-towners' burials.
That will make nonresident burials just more than three times the cost of that for a resident.
Lots in the 150-year-old current portion of the city cemetery have all but sold out. Only 25 lots remain, and they are single places, not particularly in demand.
Of the 2,475 lots sold there since 1990, 68 percent have been purchased by non-Kaysville residents most from Layton and the City Council debated for more than four hours how to manage that popularity Thursday night.
"It's a beautiful, well-maintained location. It's very desirable. ... If not, we would not be having this conversation," Mayor Neka Roundy told the council.
A key problem is that neighboring Layton and Fruit Heights lack city cemeteries. In recent years, Layton has gotten a private cemetery, but the growth in Kaysville's cemetery has still increased
City Recorder Linda Ross, who helps manage the cemetery, said people panicked in recent years when they discovered lots were running out.
The City Council stressed that prices in the existing section remain unchanged. Only the 4,632 lots in the west-side expansion will carry a higher price, and that's only for nonresidents.
Burial spaces for adults remain at $500 each for both residents and nonresidents. The difference comes in the interment and perpetual care fees.
However, even with the 7 1/2-acre cemetery expansion, those lots could sell out in 10 years or less.
"If we do business as usual, we will sell out," said Vance Garfield, cemetery sexton.
Burial prices for nonresidents were previously double the resident rate, but that did nothing to slow the sales to outsiders.
The City Council expressed an intent Thursday to secure land soon for a new cemetery even though it coulud cost $4 million or more. The city already owns undeveloped park land in four different areas, but until geological studies are done, it is undetermined whether any of that land would be suitable for a cemetery. But there may not be a large enough undeveloped piece of land elsewhere that's cemetery-worthy.
The city recently spent $500,000 to develop the new west side of the cemetery, and city manager John Thacker reminded the council it has already been criticized for incurring too much debt.
The City Council will put the extra money from interments in a capital fund and will create a special citizen cemetery committee to study in detail if the council's cemetery plans are fair and wise.
Arthur Johnson, former Kaysville mayor, told the council such a committee is a waste of time.
"We need to do something to restrain the use of this cemetery," he said. "People need to realize this is a Kaysville Cemetery."
The council had originally discussed raising nonresident burial fees by more than $7,000 than they ended up doing. Even Johnson felt that was excessive, but he wanted an increase of $4,000, instead of just $1,000.
Garfield said that when Layton split off from Kaysville in the early 19th century, the cemetery was called the Kaysville-Layton Cemetery.
"There was probably no distinction in fees," he said of that time.
Councilman Gil Miller said it isn't fair for Kaysville residents to keep subsidizing the cemetery for nonresidents. "The point is to charge nonresidents a fee to deter them," he said.
Ron Stephens, who will be a new Kaysville councilman next month, said too high of a fee would simply convey to nonresidents that "we really don't like you."Councilman Lynn Galbraith said many non-Kaysville residents have roots here, and he didn't want the cemetery to be for just rich outsiders.