Planning ahead

Residents can place headstones early at Memorial Park

The Soldotna Parks and Recreation Department reviewed and made a number of changes to the Memorial Park administrative policy and fee schedule, including an amendment allowing for more ways residents can plan for their future.

Residents will now be able to reserve and mark a plot at the Soldotna Community Memorial Park prior to interment.

The department has received a number of requests from residents interested in placing markers on a plot beside a spouse they are interring, said City Clerk Shellie Saner in a memo to the City Council.

“Current practice we do not allow plots to be marked with headstones prior to an internment,” Saner said. “We are going to a new policy that would allow that, as long as they understand that if they have not used the plot and we cannot contact them to renew the reservation, within 30 years that we will also dispose of the marker when we take back the plot.”

The department went on to clarify additional policies including hours of access for vehicles, Saner said. Prior to the revision it was posted that the gate would be closed through out the winter months.

Now it will be posted that one lane will remain open in the park weather permitting, Saner said. This was how operations have been handled through the majority of the season, but was not accurately reflected in the administrative policy.

An addition was also made stating the city is not responsible for any items left or placed on or around any internment, according to the policy. Anything that does not qualify as a decoration may be viewed as abandoned property and could potentially be disposed of by the city upon removal from the park.

Saner said these were the most substantial amendments made to the policy. The rest were further clarifications of current operations including language distinguishing between a monument and a marker or headstone.

“A monument would mark a family plot, (four or more plots purchased together) and are the only structure allowed over 48 inches in height,” according to the policy. “A marker would be placed on individual plots.”

Monuments higher than the maximum allowance will now be required to undergo a foundational assessment, according to the policy.

The hours remain the same for pedestrian visitors, which have access to the park at all times. In the summer months the vehicle gate is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from May 1 through Sept. 30, and will be closed depending on weather and, or road conditions from Oct. 1 through April 30.

 

Kelly Sullivan can be reached at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com

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