LETHBRIDGE: City planners are expected to break ground on a new construction project - with a very special end result.
Council approved the master plan for a new cemetery on 13th St. North - that should fill a dire need.
Planner Erik Lees explains.
"We're running out of space here in Lethbridge and if we don't get onto new cemetery land development very soon, we're going to be in trouble."
Lees says the city' s current cemetery sites have only about two to three years of supply left, while the new 13th St. site is expected to provide up to 100 years of cemetery and memorialisation services.
Phase one of the project, with a $3.6 million budget, is expected to break ground late in 2011. After construction is complete, plots cannot be occupied for about one year, as contractors need to ensure flooding and settling won't cause problems. But Lees says extensive geotechnical and archeological surveys suggest the site at the coulee edge is not only beautiful, but also functionally suited for use as a cemetery.
"One of the advantages we have of starting a cemetery from scratch is that we're able to buffer all the edge conditions, whether those be for traffic or the park or the powerlines that go through there," says Lees. "And we'll be using native plant materials, both grasses, shrubs and trees to ensure that we get both adequate physical and visual seperation to adjacent uses."
Alderman Ryan Parker says the opportunity to help plan a new cemetery for the community from start to finish is an honour, one that hasn't been bestowed on a council in at least 100 years.