Evergreen Cemetery Running Out Of Room

By Kiersten Mathieu

July 22, 2010 Updated Apr 18, 2007 at 7:19 PM EDT

Candace Cerratani is a descendant of one of Owego's founding families, the Pumpelly's.

Cerratiani plans to be buried near family plots at Evergreen Cemetary.

"My family members when they come home, that's the first place we go to, to visit all of our relatives," says Cerratiani.

But Evergreen Cemetary could soon be closed to future generations.

With only 12 plots left, room is running out.

The village of Owego owns and maintains the historic cemetary.

It's trying to decide whether to expand Evergreen.

"There's a lot here to preserve, and take care of and maintain and then now it's do you add another piece?" says Owego Mayor John Loftus.

Years ago, land was cleared to extend Evergreen Cemetary.

More than 400 plots can fit in the 4 acres of land.

Mayor Loftus says now the village has to find the funds before it can develop it.

A study shows it will cost between 70 to 90 thousand to put in roads, install a water system and organize the plots.

Contractors are beginning to bid for the work.

"How do you pay for it? Because typically very honestly you're not going to make money on a cemetary," says Loftus.

Cerratani says its not about money, but keeping the history alive.

"I think it's important for taxpayers to understand that they are paying for the maintenance {butt to 37:36} and I believe they have every right in the world to have that option to be buried up there," says Cerratani .

An option that could soon be history.

Mayor Loftus says the village is waiting for the contractors bids to see the true costs of expanding Evergreen Cemetary.

Loftus says its need to be financially feasible to expand.

And if it raises taxes, people in the village need to support it.

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