JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The City of Jonesboro is running out of available plots at their cemeteries and must decide soon whether to clear land for more plots.
"We've gotta make a decision here soon, probably within this year, toward the end of the year of what we're going to do," Jonesboro Parks Director Wixson Huffstetler said.
The Parks Department maintains four cemeteries in Jonesboro: the Nettleton Cemetery, Knights of Pythias Cemetery, City Cemetery and Oaklawn Cemetery.
Though they no longer allow people to be buried at the Knights of Pythias or City Cemeteries without deeds, there is still some room available at Nettleton and Oaklawn Cemeteries.
"Between those two cemeteries, there's a little over 12,000 spots," Huffstetler said.
Most of that space is already taken up though. Huffstetler estimates that if plots continue to sell at the rate they are now, they will have no spots left in a year and a half.
"We sell a lot. We are very busy in that department of the Parks Department," Huffstetler said. "A lot of people are just preparing for later on down the road, not necessarily right now."
Huffstetler said they're preparing for the future, too.
"Just because we're running out of inventory doesn't mean we're running out of spots," Huffstetler said.
The city owns 80 acres to the south of Oaklawn Cemetery that could be used for more plots.
"It's a very wooded area so we'll have to clean it up," Huffstetler said.
Roads would also have to be constructed.
"Actually, drawings have already been done for that expansion," Huffstetler said. "They were done before I got here. So we have the drawings done, it's just the fact of do we continue in this business or just maintain what we've got?"
Huffstetler said in the end, the decision will likely come from Mayor Harold Perrin's office or the city council.
If they go ahead and clear the land, Huffstetler said there's roughly $5 million worth of plots available. However, it would take many years for the land to sell out.
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