Granite Hill Cemetery seeking public interest in buying graves

Granite Hill Cemetery looking to open up grave sales but needs input from the public.

Posted: May 1, 2019 4:05 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 10:57 AM

GRANTS PASS, OR. — Granite Hill Cemetery may have graves available for sale in the near future. Josephine County Parks Department manages the cemetery and is asking the public – would you be interested in purchasing interment rights if grave sales reopened?

The Parks Department has about 300 available graves and is interested in opening sales, but needs to ensure that plots are sold fairly if demand exceeds availability. Understanding how many people are interested in obtaining grave rights at Granite Hill Cemetery will help the county create a fair sale process. Those who have interest in potentially purchasing a grave at the Cemetery will need to fill out an online form on the County’s webpage for Granite Hill Cemetery. The public is asked to express interest by May 13 so that a first review of public interest can be analyzed.

The Cemetery has not actively sold graves for about 10 years. Graves had previously been sold for $600; pricing is now set at $1,000 per grave. Currently, the Cemetery does not have a revenue stream for maintenance and operating costs are covered from other park revenues, including camping and day use fees. Opening sales would allow for the Cemetery to again become self-funded for a few years. Due to a limited grave availability, a long-term revenue plan will be developed, which may include building walls with niches for cremains.

The Granite Hill Cemetery is a historic cemetery established in 1881 and is not actively maintained. Family members and friends of loved ones are encouraged to help maintain graves. The Parks Department does their best to provide maintenance by weed eating in the spring and pick up leaves in the fall. The current maintenance level costs the Parks Department about $11,000 per year, something Parks Director Sarah Garceau hopes to cover by selling a dozen graves per year. Volunteer days are also advertised to encourage the public to come out and help with landscaping needs. The next organized volunteer day is May 11 from 9 a.m. to noon

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