The number of available plots at the Kenai Municipal Cemetery just increased about eight times over as a result of a long-awaited expansion, which will bring 64 adult and 12 infant plots to the community. The cemetery currently has four adult plots available and is subject to a moratorium on the selling of standard cemetery plots.
Funding for the expansion of the cemetery, located at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Coral Street in Kenai, was approved by the Kenai City Council in spring of 2018. The expansion site is adjacent to that site and covers about 4 acres on the other side of Floatplane Road. Roughly $18,000 was approved by the Kenai City Council in 2017 to run design plans drawn by Klauder and Associates into work plans, according to previous Clarion reporting.
Kenai City Clerk Jamie Heinz said Friday that the original cemetery has about four plots available and that the moratorium is still in effect until the Kenai City Council passes legislation lifting it. Heinz said she’d be “uncomfortable” lifting the moratorium right now because the expansion is not yet open and the COVID-19 pandemic is still happening.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has recorded 46 COVID-related deaths, including 43 among residents and three nonresidents. Eleven deaths have been reported among Kenai residents.
The Kenai City Council approved a moratorium on the selling of standard cemetery plots in 2017 in response to an “extremely limited” number of available plots. The moratorium prevents the selling of cemetery plots in advance for people who are still alive. Exceptions to the moratorium include the purchase of a plot once someone has already died. Heinz can sell two plots if someone dies and an immediate family member, typically a spouse, wants to purchase the adjacent plot.
Among the work that still needs to be done at the cemetery, Heinz said Monday, is the installation of a well, fencing and electricity, as well as asphalt paving and monuments for the rest of the plots. The expansion is set to open in the spring.
More information on the Kenai Municipal Cemetery can be found at kenai.city/community/page/kenai-municipal-cemetery.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at email@example.com.