With final touches on the Stansbury Park Cemetery nearly completed, the facility’s committee wants to formally hand it over to the community it serves.
A 10 a.m. flag-raising ceremony will be held at the cemetery on Memorial Day.
“We’ll just have a little dedication and present the cemetery to the community,” said Glenn Oscarson, a member of the Stansbury Cemetery Committee and one of the residents who spearheaded the project.
Oscarson said the flagpole, which will be installed before the ceremony as part of an Eagle Scout project, is one of the last items to be completed at the cemetery.
“There are already people buried down there,” he said. “When we have the flagpole in, we’ll be about done with everything we’re going to do for now.”
Beyond being a place to inter residents, Oscarson said he feels the cemetery represents cooperation within the community, and literal and metaphorical growth in the township.
“There’s been so much volunteer work. We just had about 75 people come in and lay sod. We had other people plant trees,” he said. “I think it gives us a lot of maturity that we finally have some of the things that make a community a community.”
He added, “There are a lot of people who have lived here their whole lives. I’ve lived here for 42 years. A lot of us want to stay here after we die. And I think it gives us a feeling of community.”
Initial talks of establishing a cemetery in the Stansbury Park area began more than a decade ago. Former Tooele County Commissioner Matt Lawrence and Stansbury Park resident Brent Rose, helped to secure a seven-acre parcel of land west of the Benson Gristmill for future use.
In 2007, a committee, including Rose and Oscarson, formed among residents from both Stansbury and Erda. The group tried to figure out how a cemetery might be established between the two communities.
When those plans did not materialize, the committee’s attention was turned back to the parcel near the gristmill. In 2011, a ballot measure made it to voters, and more than 77 percent voted to let the Stansbury Service Agency add cemetery operation to its list of responsibilities.
In March 2012, the Tooele County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for the Stansbury Service Agency to operate a cemetery, which allowed the agency to start installing sprinkler systems and plant grass on the first two acres of the parcel. By November of that year, the first lots were available for presale.
Oscarson said more than 280 plots have sold so far, which has funded the cemetery aside from some start-up costs. Even some of the project’s initial critics have now turned to help with the planning and the work, he said.
“It’s been a real community effort, and it’s cost the taxpayers and the community nothing,” he said. “It’s a really neat place. Everybody’s quite pleased with the whole project.”