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Snyderville Basin cemetery proposed beside road to UOP

The proposed site is on the right side of Olympic Parkway (above).
Google Maps
The proposed site is on the right side of Olympic Parkway (above).

The board planning the Snyderville Basin’s first-ever cemetery says it has found a suitable location.

The Snyderville Basin Cemetery District board said it wants to put in a cemetery on the right side of Olympic Parkway before the RTS trailhead parking lot, below the aspen grove.

Board of trustees chair Max Greenhalgh said a geotechnician has already analyzed soil samples from the area.

“Summary was that there's no bedrock, pretty good soil. We went down about seven feet on most of the digs, and so we're pretty pleased with the site overall.”

It’s about 10 acres, which he said could last a century. They’d offer regular burial plots and spaces for cremains, and green burial could be a possibility as well.

The district doesn’t have the authority to levy taxes yet, but the Summit County Council could grant that, Greenhalgh said. He added it likely wouldn’t get that power until next year and would keep the tax burden as low as possible.

In the meantime, board members have been donating their own time and securing pro bono work.

Greenhalgh said they’ve been lucky to have a professional planner, Christa Cassidy; landscape architect, Pete Gillwald; and two lawyers, Daniel Whitehurst and Bill Oshinsky, on the board.

Gillwald’s neighbor was the geotechnician who analyzed the soil samples.

Board members are holding off on a formal vote to choose the Olympic Parkway site for now while the county clears up legal concerns.

Greenhalgh said county attorneys believe deed restrictions on the land jointly held by Summit County and Basin Recreation allow for a cemetery.

But the attorneys also told him the state of Utah would prefer the cemetery operator owns the cemetery land. County officials may need to subdivide it and transfer it to the cemetery district.

The Summit County Council would need to vote to approve the division at a future meeting.

This cemetery would be the Snyderville Basin’s first. Previously, residents had to go to Salt Lake City or elsewhere for burial, as Park City’s cemetery is reserved for residents and is almost full.