Idaho Falls Citizen Journalism

Leslie Shumate's picture

POLICIES & PARKS 5-3-17 LMS

Work is progressing on establishment of a policy that will facilitate the city being able to buy back unused rights-to-burial Cemetery plots. 

Some draft versions have been proposed and rewritten according to council input.

At the May 3 City Council meeting City Clerk Mary Benton gave the council something else to consider and that was putting a limit on how much the city can expend per year on the buy-backs. She said this past week a person called from Ohio who represented the Modern Woodsmen of America organization which has owned around 30 plots in the Salmon Cemetery since between 1920 and 1930. The caller was asking if the city would buy them. 

No payment figure has been set but Benton said if the city decided on a rate of $200 per plot buying back the Woodsmen plots would cost $6,000. It was quickly pointed out that the $6,000 expenditure could yield a return of $18,000 if the plots were resold at the current rate of $600 each.

Benton said there are several people waiting for the policy to be in place so they can sell their right-to-burial deed back to the city. She also mentioned that the Odd Fellows have many plots and that if they wished to sell all of them it would amount to a large lump sum. City Attorney Fred Snook said the city would always have the option of negotiating a price or not agreeing to purchase the plot.

Whatever terms are adopted, the Resolution giving the city a right to buy back unused cemetery plots will not go into effect until next fiscal year, so there is still time to consider the policy from all angles.

The evening’s two public comment opportunities had to do with parks.

Bob Wiederrick first thanked Councilman Ken Hill again for his generosity in giving the city the deed to History Park. He went on to say improvements on the Island Park pavilion are progressing. A roofing bid of $7,661 from Rusty Kennedy has been accepted and he said an Eagle Scout’s offer to paint the pavilion fit perfectly into the improvements. Wiederrick commented that perhaps more visible signs listing the park’s closure as 10PM would help deter some vandalism.

Shad Davis introduced himself as the Project Manager for the “Escape the Vape” organization. He said he and his associate, Stetson Thompson, are based in Madison County. He said the organization’s mission is to raise awareness, especially among young people, of the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes. Within the past month the organization helped the city of St. Anthony to amend park ‘no smoking’ ordinances to include a ban on vaping. Davis said they would be happy to help the city of Salmon to do the same. Davis said they are in league with a group in Bonneville County that will pay for updating signs to include ‘no vaping allowed.”

Davis was invited to contact the city’s Parks and Recreation Team.

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