The entrance to Soldotna Community Memorial Park off of Redoubt Avenue, in Soldotna, Alaska, on Dec. 20, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The entrance to Soldotna Community Memorial Park off of Redoubt Avenue, in Soldotna, Alaska, on Dec. 20, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Council OKs cemetery expansion funds

“Our cemetery is filling up with reservations rapidly”

The city of Soldotna appropriated $300,000 to expand its cemetery, which is reaching maximum capacity.

The Soldotna City Council voted unanimously at their Wednesday meeting to appropriate $300,000 to pay for the rest of the design work needed and to complete the expansion, which will focus on the veterans area of the park and other flat and upright marker locations.

The expansion will fill the community’s needs for the next decade, Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen said at the meeting.

“It’s fairly critical we move forward with this next phase of expansion,” Queen said at the meeting.

The Soldotna Community Memorial Park on Redoubt Avenue opened to the community and area residents in 2011. Since then, lots have been filling up fast.

“Our cemetery is filling up with reservations rapidly, not occupants, reservations and we do have a limited amount of space,” City Clerk Shellie Saner said at a Dec. 12 city council meeting.

Initially, the park included plot areas for burials with both flat and upright markers, a columbarium with granite niches for cremains, a memorial wall where plaques are placed for loved ones and a designated area for veterans and their children.

In 2015, the city constructed an additional 101 full-size plots and a row of smaller plots for cremains.

There are currently no standard plots in the veterans section and lawn area standard plots are running low, a Jan. 14 memo from Project Manager Lee Frey to the council said.

Queen said the city is working on designing an overall master plan for the park, to identify future phases of construction at full build-out.

The effort to open the park was years in the making, Queen previously told the Clarion, and involved significant public involvement and searching for the perfect location.

Queen said the park was made possible through a partnership with the Kenai Peninsula Borough, which sold 10 acres of land — adjacent to 7 acres of city-owned land — to Soldotna for $2. Because of the arrangement, the park is available to all area residents, not just those who reside in the city.

More in News

An entrance to the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex as seen in November 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna moves forward with sports complex renovations

The city council last year approved $1.5 million for maintenance and renovations at the sports complex.

Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, has his picture taken by a fellow senator after being unanimously elected on the first day of the 32nd Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, in Juneau. (Peter Segall/The Juneau Empire via AP, Pool)
Senate organizes Republican majority; Micciche elected president

Micciche’s election as Senate president was held by voice vote, with no one dissenting.

COVID-19. (Image via CDC)
4 new peninsula COVID cases

130 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Alaska on Tuesday

Goose Creek Correctional Center in Wasilla. (Courtesy photo / Alaska Department of Corrections)
Goose Creek inmate dies

It’s the first inmate death of 2021

4th Avenue Park is seen on Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai to formally own park it’s been maintaining for decades

Formal ownership of the park has changed hands several times

Alaska State Troopers
Man arrested after car, foot chase in Nikiski

An Anchorage man was arrested in Nikiski on Sunday following a high-speed… Continue reading

A sign outside of RD’s Barber Shop indicating that they are closed can be seen here in Kenai, Alaska on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Changes proposed to pending ‘shop local’ program in Kenai

Changes to the program have been proposed by city council members, city administration and the public

File
Dunleavy appoints new attorney general

Sniffen held the position in an acting capacity following the resignation of Kevin Clarkson.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai to consider extension of disaster declaration

If approved, the declaration would be extended to Feb. 28

Most Read