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Tallahassee commissioners vote to expand Southside Cemetery, buy back unused plots

Posted at 6:58 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 18:58:43-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — There is a need for more space in one Tallahassee cemetery.

The city discussed the expansion of a local cemetery at their virtual commission meeting Thursday.

The vote was unanimous to expand the land at Southside Cemetery and buy back unused plots from all city owned cemeteries.

There are five public cemeteries owned by the city, totaling 43,000 burial plots. City manager Reese Goad told the commission that they are near the end of their inventory with less than 50 spots available for purchase at Southside Elementary.

A three-acre piece of land behind the cemetery would allow for expansion of the land.

With more than 9,000 of the city's plots unoccupied, they also decided to buy back unused spaces.

Commissioner Curtis Richardson says this is a delicate issue, but one that had to be addressed.

"Certainly we want to be able to make those public plots available for families, so that that's one issue they don't have to be concerned about as they lay their loved ones to rest," said Richardson.

In January, Richardson brought this issue up to the commission after someone in the community was not able to bury their son due to the lack of space and affordability.

To access the land at the cemetery, the city will need renegotiate a contract with the National Weather Service because they own a portion of that land as well.