The Soldotna Historical Society approached the city in 2001 regarding establishment of a cemetery for residents of Soldotna and the surrounding area. As you know, Soldotna is the only city-community on the peninsula without a final resting place for its loved ones. Mayor Dave Carey established a Cemetery Task Force, which included several historical society board members, and that group worked diligently, gathering information related to memorial parks and walked various parcels of land to determine the best location. They presented their recommendation to the city council a year ago and waited patiently for action from the council.
To our surprise and disappointment, action was taken recently, and that was to reject seeking ownership of the property recommended. As a courtesy to the initiating organization, we would liked to have been informed that formal action was to take place, so we could have offered positive comments in opposition to the negative comments we have read in the Peninsula Clarion.
Our prime purpose in supporting the establishment of a cemetery is both for historical value to our community and also the emotional support our community would receive in having their loved ones buried in Soldotna. We know that this effort was attempted many years ago and failed. We have to question the council's action, which seems destined to produce a dismal failure like the past.
The task force's location choice was an excellent one and the only choice recommended. This West Redoubt Avenue location would have enhanced the community with a peaceful, fenced, landscaped and secure area.
Naysayers can always look for nonexistent reasons when positive information is not present for a balanced consideration. We hope the council will reconsider its negative and delaying action of July 23 regarding the location of a cemetery in Soldotna.
Our organization remains hopeful, watchful and increasingly concerned as our citizens, infant to senior, pass away one by one and are interred elsewhere, thus losing our historical heritage.
Richard Reger, president Soldotna Historical Society and Museum Inc.
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