Grave markers stand in Kenai’s cemetery on Friday, March 17, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. With the number of open plots in the cemetery shrinking, the Kenai City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a moratorium on purchasing graves in advance for those still living. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Grave markers stand in Kenai’s cemetery on Friday, March 17, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. With the number of open plots in the cemetery shrinking, the Kenai City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a moratorium on purchasing graves in advance for those still living. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai passes moratorium on grave reservations

Kenai’s cemetery plots can belong only to the dead, following the Kenai City Council’s unanimous decision on Wednesday to put a moratorium on gravesite reservations for those still living.

In January, Kenai’s 9.56-acre cemetery had about 65 unused plots, according to previous Clarion reporting. The Kenai Parks and Recreation Department was then beginning to discuss raising the price of a standard grave plot from $250 to $1,000, based on similar pricing in other local cemeteries such as Soldotna’s and Homer’s. Though discussions over fees are still ongoing — taking place most recently at the Kenai Parks and Recreation Commission’s March 2 meeting — the potential raise has already had effects.

Following the proposal, “there was a voluminous purchase of standard plots to be reserved for future interment whereby leaving us with a little over half (of the open plots) remaining for purchase,” wrote Kenai City Clerk Sandra Modigh in a memo to the council recommending the moratorium. Modigh’s office is in charge of reserving cemetery plots and sponsored the moratorium — which, passed by resolution, goes into effect immediately.

According to the resolution text, the moratorium will last “until such time as additional space is available.”

Across Floatplane Road from the existing cemetery are about 4.10 acres of cleared city land that have long been reserved for cemetery expansion. Opening this space for new graves still requires city investment, according to Kenai Parks and Recreation Director Bob Frates, who in January gave a rough estimate that it would cost $300,000 – $500,000 for needed preparatory work, including surveying, fencing, and plotting grave sites. The text of Wednesday’s moratorium resolution states that the cemetery expansion may not be ready for three years.

The moratorium has one exception: reservations by living immediate family members of those buried in the cemetery will still be allowed.

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com.

Kenai passes moratorium on grave reservations
Grave markers stand in Kenai’s cemetery on Friday, March 17, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. With the number of open plots in the cemetery shrinking, the Kenai City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a moratorium on purchasing graves in advance for those still living. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Grave markers stand in Kenai’s cemetery on Friday, March 17, 2017 in Kenai, Alaska. With the number of open plots in the cemetery shrinking, the Kenai City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a moratorium on purchasing graves in advance for those still living. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Rep. Mary Peltola, an Alaska Democrat, delivers a speech on the U.S. House floor before Thursday’s vote approving her first bill, establishing an Office of Food Security in the Department of Veterans Affairs. It passed the House by a 376-49 vote, although its fate in the Senate is undetermined. (Screenshot from official U.S. House video)
Poll: Peltola’s a popular pol

Food for vets bill passes House, pollster says she is “the most popular figure in Alaska right now.”

A parking sign awaits the new executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund at its Juneau headquarters, Three finalists will be interviewed for the job during a public meeting Monday by the fund’s board of trustees, who are expected to deliberate and announce the new director immediately afterward. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Interviews, selection of new Permanent Fund CEO set for Monday

Three finalists seeking to manage $73.7B fund to appear before trustees at public meeting in Juneau

Principal Sarge Truesdell looks at cracked siding outside of Soldotna High School on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. The siding is one of several projects in a bond package Kenai Peninsula voters will consider during the Oct. 4 municipal election. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Split siding at SoHi

The damage has been given patchwork treatment over the years

Most Read