Cemetery expansion moves ahead

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2007

FRANKLIN—The city will move forward with plans for the expansion of Poplar Spring Cemetery.

The Board of Zoning Appeals in early November granted the city a conditional use permit, which was needed because the first phase of the project will be built in an R-O one family residence district. The permit was granted with the stipulation that the Franklin Beautification Commission will review and approve the site plan.

Council discussed bids briefly at its Monday night meeting.

Crowder & White Contracting LLC of Franklin came in with the low bid of $195,435. The project was estimated to cost a little less than $388,450.

The city will borrow the money and use lot sales to pay off the debt.

Finance Director Andy Rose said the next step is holding a public hearing in regard to issuing the debt.

He suggested borrowing up to $400,000 as the bid came in less than the estimate. Rose noted it also would cover the cost that the city has already spent on the project, which includes engineering and land— about $76,560.

&uot;This would give us 500 lots?&uot; asked Councilwoman Rosa Lawrence.

The first phase is set to have approximately 500 lots and remaining phases will include 1,750 lots.

Rose said, &uot;Yes, but some of this is for clearing of land that you won’t have to clear later.&uot;

City Manager Bucky Taylor added, &uot;The remaining phases will be considerably cheaper since the site work will be done.&uot;

The city sent a survey to residents in the City Clips in February. Responses revealed a total of 82 plots would be purchased, and of those, 44 residents were willing to pre-pay.

Any additional money made from plot sales after the loan is paid will go to perpetual care of the grounds.

The council voted 6-1 to move forward with construction plans based on the public hearing to be held during its Dec. 10 meeting. Councilwoman Mary Hilliard cast the negative vote. Hilliard had said that the opportunity for the city to purchase Southampton Memorial Park on Pretlow Road arose last year, and she felt that cemetery would better serve all the citizens of the city.

Setting of the plot prices and additional policies for the cemetery will be brought back to the council before work is completed, which is estimated to be spring 2008.