To the editor:
It’s usually not the norm to explain our shortcomings in this way, but when our patrons have a less-than-desirable experience, we feel they deserve an explanation. In doing so, we hope this provides valuable information while helping us to do a better job.
Like many of us who have endured extraordinary circumstances this past year, it has been difficult for the Logan City Cemetery, too. On Sept. 8, 2020, hurricane-force winds belted Northern Utah, including the cemetery overnight, toppling, uprooting, and splitting over two dozen large trees, some estimated to be well over 60 years old. In that weather event, fallen trees also lifted and damaged headstones and uprooted sections of the cemetery’s aged sprinkler system. In some instances, sections of sprinkler pipe were forced above ground by the tremendous weight of these huge trees.
As eternal optimists, the cemetery staff were grateful there wasn’t more damage and that the windstorm occurred near the end of the irrigation season. The cemetery primarily irrigates its 53-acre area with secondary water from the Cache Highline Water Association canal system. The cemetery personnel would spend eight weeks into early winter cleaning up the mess left by the storm. This would leave sprinkler line repairs for the spring of 2021 prior to pressurizing the system in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend visits.
While the repairs and preparations were a manageable feat even during the COVID-19 coronavirus – like many employers, the cemetery struggled to find additional part-time help for spring clean-up, and volunteers were understandably reluctant to gather and serve — the cemetery was hit again by another windstorm on April 13, this time taking down another eight large trees, damaging others that would require removal thereafter, and causing additional damage to headstones and the cemetery’s sprinkler system. This left cemetery personnel with only six weeks to repair broken water lines and prepare the grounds for the end of May. As valiantly as staff tried, not every detail could be completed in time, and we are sorry for the disappointment this brought to our patrons.
In 2001, Logan city purchased from the State of Utah the area commonly referred to as the Deer Pen property which was managed by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and originally encompassed approximately 114 acres. The purchase was intended to provide the city with a future cemetery and the proceeds used to make the purchase came from the cemetery’s perpetual care fund. Over time, a portion of the Deer Pen property was sold for residential development. Most recently, the sale of 22 single-family building lots west of Aspen Drive between 1300 North and 1700 North generated much needed revenue that will go back to the cemetery budget to replace its damaged, antiquated manual sprinkler system. A 24-acre parcel will be retained by the city in the Deer Pen area as a neighborhood nature park. Other capital improvements under consideration for the cemetery include a memorial garden area that contains a columbarium for above ground cremains, and improved patron facilities. Guiding the proposed improvements is a master plan for the cemetery that will be compiled this year.
It is indeed a privilege to serve our patrons and we look forward to the opportunity to do so, again.
The Logan City Cemetery staff