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HomeNewsArchivesCEMETERY PLAN OFFERED, BUT LAND STILL DISPUTED

CEMETERY PLAN OFFERED, BUT LAND STILL DISPUTED

Acting Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood presented initial plans Friday for a new 10-acre cemetery for the public as well as veterans at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Labor and Veterans Affairs. But it was still unclear whether the Smith Bay property will be available for the planned Veterans' Burial site.
Gordon Coffelt testified that he owned the site across from the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort, and that he was approached by former Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus in 1999 about a possible land swap with the V.I. government to ease the shortage of burial space. The government property is the remainder of Western Cemetery No. 3, a three-quarter acre area which is unusable for burial because of a high water table.
At the time, Petrus said he began looking for an East End burial site after he learned from Public Works officials that the Western Cemetery would soon run out of space.
But the plan stalled a year ago in a dispute over the title to the site and property taxes said to be owed by the previous owner, the late Kennth Lindqvist. Nearly 10 years ago, the District Court ruled that Lindqvist was responsible for paying the back taxes.
But Coffelt said Friday that though he is still willing to make the exchange, he has tried for years without success to get the government to remove the taxes owed from his property.
It was not known Friday whether the plan produced by Callwood, which he said would cost about $1 million, differed from those drawn up one year ago in anticipation of the swap. That plan called for the same public/veterans ratio of acreage, with 1,000 plots for veterans and up to 1,400 for the general public.
Public Works has variously predicted that St. Thomas will run out of burial space by July, by this summer and, Callwood testified Friday, by the end of the year.

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Acting Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood presented initial plans Friday for a new 10-acre cemetery for the public as well as veterans at a meeting of the Senate Committee on Labor and Veterans Affairs. But it was still unclear whether the Smith Bay property will be available for the planned Veterans' Burial site.
Gordon Coffelt testified that he owned the site across from the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort, and that he was approached by former Sen. Allie-Allison Petrus in 1999 about a possible land swap with the V.I. government to ease the shortage of burial space. The government property is the remainder of Western Cemetery No. 3, a three-quarter acre area which is unusable for burial because of a high water table.
At the time, Petrus said he began looking for an East End burial site after he learned from Public Works officials that the Western Cemetery would soon run out of space.
But the plan stalled a year ago in a dispute over the title to the site and property taxes said to be owed by the previous owner, the late Kennth Lindqvist. Nearly 10 years ago, the District Court ruled that Lindqvist was responsible for paying the back taxes.
But Coffelt said Friday that though he is still willing to make the exchange, he has tried for years without success to get the government to remove the taxes owed from his property.
It was not known Friday whether the plan produced by Callwood, which he said would cost about $1 million, differed from those drawn up one year ago in anticipation of the swap. That plan called for the same public/veterans ratio of acreage, with 1,000 plots for veterans and up to 1,400 for the general public.
Public Works has variously predicted that St. Thomas will run out of burial space by July, by this summer and, Callwood testified Friday, by the end of the year.