Las Vegas Sun

November 17, 2017

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Proposal for pet cemetery near animal shelter quashed

Boulder City moves to locate cemetery near wastewater treatment plant

A proposed pet cemetery in Boulder City is moving forward at a site near the city’s wastewater treatment plant after the City Council turned down a request to move it to city property near the animal shelter.

The council declined to add the 5-acre parcel on Yucca Street to the Land Management Plan for a pet cemetery. That is the first step in a long process that is required before city property can be sold or leased.

The council members were concerned that the site was part of a 46-acre parcel approved by voters for sale as an industrial park. The land represents important future revenue to the city, Councilman Cam Walker said the city should not be giving it away.

Carolyn Murphy, executive director of Angel Park Pet Cemetery, which sought a lease of $1 a year, said the group had no idea the parcel had been approved for sale.

“What we weren’t told was that it had been voted on as industrial land and was worth 2-point-something million per acre,” Murphy said. “We never would have asked for that.”

The group chose the parcel, she said, because it had been an early site for a no-leash dog park. See Spot Run now has a lease and is building the dog park at Veterans Memorial Park near the skate park.

“We thought since they didn’t need that, we could use it. We had no idea,” she said.

The site already in the Land Management Plan for a pet cemetery is on Quail Drive between the remote-control car track and the wastewater treatment plant. That 10-acre site has some drainage issues, Murphy said, but the group will go back to architect Allen Stromberg and try to work those out.

Murphy began her drive to build an official pet cemetery in Boulder City after her two cocker spaniels, Melody and Katie, died in 2006. She had them cremated and keeps their remains in urns. She also purchased a memorial marker for them at a pet cemetery in Kanab, Utah. She realized a pet cemetery in Boulder City would make it easier to visit, she said.

There is an unauthorized pet cemetery off U.S. 95 within the city limits, she said, but she wants to see an authorized place to lay pets to rest.

“They do so much for us,” Murphy said. “It’s that unconditional love that I’m trying to preserve in the memories.”

The nonprofit group now has nine board members and a business plan that it will present to the city soon, she said.

“I was waiting to see if they were going to change the location before I turned in the business plan,” Murphy said.

Once the city has approved the plan, she said, the board plans to have a cemetery open within two years. Some fundraising has already been done, and the group has plans for future fundraisers, she said.

The proposal includes plans for a fund to keep the site maintained in perpetuity, Murphy said.

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