FARMINGTON -- In an effort to stave off the need for a new cemetery in the near future, city leaders intend to claim unused burial rights at the city cemetery that have been potentially ignored or forgotten for the past 60 years.
The city council recently voted 5-0 to initiate an effort to claim the unused burial rights in the cemetery on the south end of the city.
The action could potentially free up as many as 180 plots for city resale or use.
City Manager Max Forbush said a city intern went through cemetery records to find any lots that appear to have been forgotten or have been ignored for more than six decades.
The city will publish legal notices and attempt to find the heir for any burial space in which there has been no change in the past 60 years.
He said there would be a 30-day deadline associated with any notice or response from a legal heir to a plot.
Forbush said this is the second time the city has taken this action in an attempt to stay current with allocated space in the burial ground.
Forbush said the city does not sell real estate in selling a plot, but simply sells the right to burial.
He said reclaiming the unused burial rights buys a little time in dealing with a shrinking number of burial plots available in Farmington.
Forbush has raised the cemetery issue several times in recent years, saying options for a new burial ground are getting harder to find.
He recently indirectly raised the issue by asking council members to consider a plan to excavate a piece of city hillside property south of Farmington Canyon to see if the area might be suitable for a cemetery or a small development.
Forbush said city officials have tried to explore other options.
He identified one ideal spot for a possible burial ground, but said the owner doesn't seem inclined to sell the property.
He also suggested it would be difficult to consider putting a burial ground west of Interstate 15 because of problems with the water table.