The County of Wetaskiwin agreed at their Mar. 26 regular meeting to take over maintenance of the Grandview Cemetery after the cemetery’s board dissolved.
The agenda item was presented by assistant CAO Jeff Chipley, who noted the Grandview Cemetery is disused, very old and no longer has a board taking care of it.
“At the December 14, 2017 Council for Planning & Economic Development meeting, a Public Hearing was held in regard to the rezoning of the Grandview Cemetery, legally described as SW 14-47-26-W4M, from Agricultural (AG) to Institutional (IS),” stated Chipley in his report to council.
“During the Public Hearing, members of the Grandview Cemetery Committee inquired as to whether the County, which is the owner of the property as listed on title, would work with the existing caretakers in regard to the maintenance of the Cemetery to which Administration stated that the process regarding maintenance of the Cemetery would remain status quo, but that the County would work with the current group should changes be desired.
“Council at the time did resolve to rezone the Cemetery in order to allow for the Cemetery to be legally registered with the Government of Alberta in accordance with the Cemeteries Act.
“On February 26, 2019, County Administration being J. Chipley, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, and N. Finseth, Municipal Intern, attended a meeting of the Grandview Cemetery Committee where the main topic of the Committee was their unviability to continue with the maintenance and upkeep of the Cemetery.”
Chipley told councilors during his presentation that the committee members told him they aren’t able to continue maintaining the cemetery and the committee has, in effect, dissolved.
“Additionally, the Committee resolved to donate their remaining funds to the Millet Minor Hockey Association of $1,983.90 as a token of appreciation from the Committee for their previous assistance in maintaining the Cemetery,” stated Chipley.
He also noted the cemetery saw its last burial in the late 1940’s, so it has not been heavily used recently. Also, there is not a lot of documentation on the cemetery and Chipley pointed out it’s known there are unmarked graves in the cemetery.
Councilor Bill Krahn stated anyone intending to use the cemetery would have to be careful because, if there are unmarked graves, you could dig one up by accident.
Chipley suggested in his report approaching the contractor who currently handles cemetery maintenance for the municipality and asking if Grandview could be added to his list. If the current contractor declines, councilors will have to make a decision on how they want to maintain Grandview.
CAO Rod Hawken told councilors it looks like the County of Wetaskiwin will have another request coming forward similar to this one within a couple of years.
Councilors approved county staff approaching the current contractor to see if he’s willing to take on Grandview Cemetery.