The City of Pierre is acquiring property near Riverside Cemetery.
The City Commission approved the purchase of 50 acres of land during tonight’s commission meeting. The land, located directly north of the city cemetery, will provide the city with access to undeveloped land it already owns.
“About 20 years ago, we purchased about 52 acres of land for cemetery expansion,” said Kristi Honeywell, City Administrator. “Without the land we’re requesting to purchase this evening, we can only access that expansion area from a steep cliff on the south side.”
“This cemetery access issue is a long-standing one,” Mayor Steve Harding added. “I’m pleased we have found a solution that will give us safe and ample access to our existing land for perpetuity.”
The City will purchase the land from a private land owner for about $600,000. The purchase is contingent on another agreement for additional property in the same area.
Honeywell said that in addition to the benefit of cemetery access, the purchase will also provide the city with additional contiguous space for city operations.
“The City has no intention of developing the area for anything other than city use,” added Mayor Harding.
Riverside Cemetery is owned and maintained by the City of Pierre. Active since the late 1800s, the original 35 acres is the final resting place for more than 5,700 people. Each year, an average of 70 additional burial sites are occupied. The expansion area can provide more than 12,000 additional burial plots.