News

$4.5-million cemetery improvement plan goes to City Council tonight

Costs will be paid as new burial plots are sold

The Pleasanton City Council will consider a plan tonight to spend up to $4.5 million to upgrade and substantially improve the city-owned Pioneer Cemetery on Sunol Boulevard.

Much of the costs, if not all, would be covered by revenues generated from the sale of new burial plots and would have no financial impact on the city's General Fund budget.

Initially, administrative and professional services needed to plan the project would cost $170,000, an allocation to be requested by city staff at Tuesday night's meeting.

An oversight committee headed by the city's Parks and Recreation Commission would conduct the start-up work on cemetery improvements with funds from the current cemetery fund balance of $393,081. The cost of future improvements would be offset by the sale of future burial plots.

As planned, a total of 7,109 new cremains plots are planned in the cemetery along with 625 plots for full casket burials.

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Also, the oversight committee is recommending new designations to include a wider range of burial options, from premier sites with estate-type detailing to single and companion grave plots are more affordable prices to families.

The Pleasanton Memorial Gardens was first established in 1850 as a non-endowment cemetery. Many of the city's founding pioneers are buried there, including the Kottinger and Neal families as well as 400 military veterans.

Part of the recommended improvements to the cemetery, which was renamed in 2006 when the city acquired the cemetery, include a veterans memorial structure, an information kiosk, a computer terminal that can provide visitors with information about the cemetery and about those who have been laid to rest at the cemetery.

Gary and Nancy Harrington, who have donated public art to Pleasanton, have pledged $40,000 in matching funds toward the construction of a veterans memorial.

If the City Council approves the cemetery upgrade project Tuesday night, veterans groups plan to launch a community wide fund raising program to finance the veterans plan.

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The City Council meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

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$4.5-million cemetery improvement plan goes to City Council tonight

Costs will be paid as new burial plots are sold

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Nov 17, 2014, 7:57 am
Updated: Tue, Nov 18, 2014, 7:44 am

The Pleasanton City Council will consider a plan tonight to spend up to $4.5 million to upgrade and substantially improve the city-owned Pioneer Cemetery on Sunol Boulevard.

Much of the costs, if not all, would be covered by revenues generated from the sale of new burial plots and would have no financial impact on the city's General Fund budget.

Initially, administrative and professional services needed to plan the project would cost $170,000, an allocation to be requested by city staff at Tuesday night's meeting.

An oversight committee headed by the city's Parks and Recreation Commission would conduct the start-up work on cemetery improvements with funds from the current cemetery fund balance of $393,081. The cost of future improvements would be offset by the sale of future burial plots.

As planned, a total of 7,109 new cremains plots are planned in the cemetery along with 625 plots for full casket burials.

Also, the oversight committee is recommending new designations to include a wider range of burial options, from premier sites with estate-type detailing to single and companion grave plots are more affordable prices to families.

The Pleasanton Memorial Gardens was first established in 1850 as a non-endowment cemetery. Many of the city's founding pioneers are buried there, including the Kottinger and Neal families as well as 400 military veterans.

Part of the recommended improvements to the cemetery, which was renamed in 2006 when the city acquired the cemetery, include a veterans memorial structure, an information kiosk, a computer terminal that can provide visitors with information about the cemetery and about those who have been laid to rest at the cemetery.

Gary and Nancy Harrington, who have donated public art to Pleasanton, have pledged $40,000 in matching funds toward the construction of a veterans memorial.

If the City Council approves the cemetery upgrade project Tuesday night, veterans groups plan to launch a community wide fund raising program to finance the veterans plan.

The City Council meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center, 200 Old Bernal Ave.

Comments

Waste of Money
Downtown
on Nov 17, 2014 at 9:00 am
Waste of Money, Downtown
on Nov 17, 2014 at 9:00 am
4 people like this

The people who bought their sites did not pay for millions of dollars in upgrades! The people already buried there will certainly not care. Counting on future sales to pay for these expenses is as stupid as it gets. Who pays for it right now? Oh yeah, all of us do.

Anyone remember the great ice rink fiasco? The city would up front the costs and the Sharks would repay that plus the extra profits earned. Never happened. The thing tanked and the city was stuck with all of the costs. This will be the same thing.

The same idiots who think this is a good plan have been involved in the HUGE promised pensions that are not funded nor sustainable. Don't spend what you do not already have in your bank account. And if that bank account has taxpayer money is in you better not spend it on a cemetery that will benefit a very few and will be a cost burden to everyone. That money belongs to all of us who have paid the taxes and fees in the city, not to the few whiners who want a McMansion cemetery for a WalMart price.


Gram-ME
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm
Gram-ME, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:10 pm
8 people like this

PLEASANTON cemeteries (both Pioneer and St. Augustine's) are in dire need of upgrades, additional burial space(s). Pleasanton continues to grow. City should be able to accommodate many additional burials now and in future. Great to possibly have veterans sites as well.


Common Sense
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm
Common Sense, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:25 pm
9 people like this

Dear Waste of Money. Why don't you pay attention to what's going on with the cemetery before you waste you're time. There are currently MORE than 200 burial plots available right now at a selling cost of over $10,000 each. these improvements will be mostly, if not all paid by FUTURE sales of plots. In fact, the city may end up making a profit from this to where they can spend the money to improve our city even more. This cemetery in it's current state, does not reflect the typical image of Pleasanton. This should be one of our MOST beautiful parks we have.


45 year resident
West of Foothill
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm
45 year resident, West of Foothill
on Nov 17, 2014 at 12:32 pm
9 people like this

The Pleasanton Pioneer Cemetery will generate in excess of $25 milliom in income. It will be the only park in town that will have a positive income stream.
The Pleasanton Pioneer Cemetery should be the nicest park in town.


New Math?
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm
New Math?, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm
4 people like this

Common sense,
If they sell all 200 plots for $10,000 each,
that is eventually a total of $2 Million.
But they propose to spend "up to 4.5 million." now.
And they have less than $400,000,
so how do you and Old Resident think this is a positive cash flow?


Common Sense
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm
Common Sense, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm
3 people like this

New Math; Read the staff report and then get back to me. It's crazy that people will chime in on this before they have even read the city report on the cemetery.


Care and Compassion
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm
Care and Compassion, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm
6 people like this

If you have the unfortunate circumstance that a loved one is buried there, you would understand why the cemetery needs to become the "nicest park in town". It is a disgrace to our loved ones and the families that come to visit there.


Sherry
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm
Sherry, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2014 at 3:31 pm
8 people like this

As someone whose 5-year old son's body is buried there, I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone who's responded with compassion. We're relatively young people and we paid five figures for his plot. As-is, the cemetery looks horrible. An upgrade --or at least a little tlc-- is long overdue.


George Withers
Jensen Tract
on Nov 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm
George Withers, Jensen Tract
on Nov 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm
9 people like this

If you take time to walk through the Pioneer Cemetery, you will soon understand why it is named Pioneer Cemetery. You will see the names of people who put their hearts and soles, along with their talents and money, into building the great city we live in today. It's time we show the proper respect that these people, both Civilian and Military, deserve in their final resting place. It should be a welcoming place of peace, quite and reflection that will allow family members an opportunity to visit loved ones, and share memories with family and friends. It should also reflect the pride and quality development that Pleasanton is known for.


lll
Birdland
on Nov 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm
lll, Birdland
on Nov 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm
2 people like this

Those of you who purchased plots there some time ago should be thankful to what the cemetery is today. You bought for about $1,000 per plot in a pioneer cemetery. If you want the cemetery to look better you can go out there like the service clubs in the city do and clean it up more but to me it is in great shape for a pioneer cemetery. If you want this to have an extensive irrigation system (which makes no sense with water problems we have), I suggest all that have plots there to contribute to the fund.

If this was truly a money-maker, it should be an enterprise fund and not being paid for from the general fund. Being it is paid for by the general fund indicates there is no confidence in the city that the plot sales would cover the expenses.

Unfortunately this will pass the city council as those who have purchased plots there have invested in the campaigns of our currently elected officials.


What?
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2014 at 9:35 am
What?, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2014 at 9:35 am
3 people like this

III, I think you're confused. A LOT of us have paid more than $10,000 PER PLOT at Pioneer. They're not cheap. I don't understand why you're confused, unless you didn't bother to read the comments fully. Shame on you for being so short-sighted and selfish.


lll
Birdland
on Nov 18, 2014 at 11:33 am
lll, Birdland
on Nov 18, 2014 at 11:33 am
1 person likes this

All of the plots bought before the city took over the cemetery were about $1,000. There was also a big run on plots from people trying to take advantage of the price.

If you purchased the plot recently, after the city decided to get into the cemetery business for new plots, the price is around $10,000. I don't know how much of this goes to the catholic cemetery as the city has outsourced the burial operations. I believe it is the catholic cemetery or maybe it is the same company that works with the catholic cemetery. You also signed a contract indicating this is a pioneer cemetery. Disingenuous to agree to be buried in a pioneer cemetery, signing a contract, and then demanding the city give you more.

If the cemetery is to be upgraded to a full-feature cemetery then it should be an enterprise fund that pays for itself. A private enterprise that has a cemetery has laws they have to follow in showing the funds they collect are enough to pay for the ongoing operations, forever.


Bob J
Amador Valley High School
on Nov 18, 2014 at 11:40 am
Bob J, Amador Valley High School
on Nov 18, 2014 at 11:40 am
3 people like this

I have both my parents interned at Alta Mesa in MT View which is a beautiful park and is done up very nicely. I would have preferred to have my parents closer but we don't have anything on this side of the Bay that comes close nor do we have the facilities for cremation niches. I am all for improvement to Pioneer and I hope the improvements include Niches. Whomever the contractors are for the improvements needs to review Alta Mesa.


Waste of Money
Downtown
on Nov 18, 2014 at 11:59 am
Waste of Money, Downtown
on Nov 18, 2014 at 11:59 am
2 people like this

@Bob J -- I bet that your parents paid a good deal more than those who have already been buried in the pioneer cemetery. Plots were not sold for tens of thousands of dollars and those people already there paid nothing for perpetual upgrades. It's a Pioneer Cemetery! If the cemetery needs to be improved then put the proceeds from new purchases into a fund. When there is enough money in that fund, and only then, should improvements be made. And not one single drop of potable water should be allowed in those plans. This drought is monumental and will not be over any time soon. No cemetery, or park, or road median, or golf course, should ever be allowed to use potable water again.,


What?
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2014 at 2:47 pm
What?, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 18, 2014 at 2:47 pm
3 people like this

I happen to agree on the potable/non-potable water point.

I think it's sad that it's entirely about dollars and cents to some people. Have you been there? It's in shameful condition, despite the efforts of many of us newbies who have loved ones buried there who try very hard to keep it up. It's shameful that so many who live in such a wealthy community don't care that it looks so awful and makes the town look so awful. Pathetic, really.


lll
Birdland
on Nov 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm
lll, Birdland
on Nov 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm
1 person likes this

For a pioneer cemetery, Pleasanton's pioneer cemetery is in great condition. Thanks to the city and all the service organizations in the city who have worked on it.

I agree with the comment that no potable water should be used there. And if there is a non-potable water source nearby, it should first go to the nearby golf course. We are in a drought that experts are saying is not temporary and our council is approving new apartment buildings, and wanting to make a cemetery immaculate with water. The city just does not get it.


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