FARMINGTON -- Pioneer roots to this city do not translate to special consideration when it comes to gaining access to the few remaining burial plots in the city cemetery.
The city council during a recent meeting formally denied a request by Hazel Kranendonk, of Salt Lake City, for two burial plots in the cemetery. The woman's roots go back to Farmington, so she was seeking a burial spot for herself and her recently deceased husband among her forebears.
In a letter written by her son, Leonard Rustad, Kranendonk traced her pioneer ancestry back to Farmington and asked for special consideration. She was denied by a unanimous vote.
The action did not stop there. The council also denied a request from June Vowles, a resident, to buy extra burial plots.
New guidelines for the cemetery limit a resident's right to purchase any more than four burial plots, and Vowles has already reached that limit. She was seeking two more plots for family members.
Earlier this year, the city council formally amended rules and regulations for the cemetery, which raised the cost of purchasing limited burial rights and officially closed the burial ground to outsiders.
The amendments were adopted because cemetery lots have become increasingly scarce in this community.
As part of the policy, city leaders also approved a buy-back policy for people eager to sell existing burial rights. The city will pay $400 for burial rights for plots adjacent to a single vacant plot and $100 for a single burial site not next to a vacant plot.
City Manager Max Forbush said a move earlier this summer by the city to claim unused burial rights in the cemetery helped the city reclaim 106 plots. City officials also bought back six plots from people wishing to sell.
However, Forbush said, since the additional plots were added, city officials have sold 42 side-by-side plots, shrinking the amount of available space left.
Technically, Forbush said, the city does not sell a plot or real estate, only the rights to a plot.
The shrinking amount of cemetery space has been a concern for several years for city officials, who have been scrambling for possible solutions, including opening a new cemetery.