Red Deer advances plans for cemetery growth

The City of Red Deer will push up plans to expand one of its cemeteries after a five-acre parcel went up for sale nearby.

The City of Red Deer will push up plans to expand one of its cemeteries after a five-acre parcel went up for sale nearby.

City council agreed during a special meeting on Tuesday to remove money from the capital projects reserve so that the city could buy land directly next to Alto Reste Cemetery.

The decision comes after Red Deer County earlier in the day gave its unanimous support to the purchase. Under the Municipal Government Act, a municipality that wants to buy land outside its boundaries must get permission from its neighbour.

The land will be used to expand the cemetery on Hwy 11 just east of the city. It could also be used for a new access to the cemetery and storm water ponds.

A master plan for Alto Reste Cemetery suggests almost $3 million in potential improvements. Among upgrades topping the list is a proposal to move the main entrance off Hwy 11 to Range Road 270.

Inside the cemetery, curved roads will allow for much better access for visitors.

By adopting a curvilinear layout, the cemetery will also be better suited to providing plots that can be oriented to specific directions, a requirement among various religious denominations, says a consultant’s report.

To spruce up the cemetery, additional trees and bushes could be added, a decorative pond and bridge installed and interpretive areas spotted throughout the area.

A raised central plaza with fountain would also be built at the main entrance.

An indoor chapel and columbarium is also proposed.

In the fall of 2009, the cemetery opened a $1 million larger administrative and maintenance building.

— copyright Red Deer Advocate