With fewer than 50 burial plots left, Erving charts path toward new cemetery

  • Holton Cemetery, located off Old State Road in Erving, is closed for burial. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Holton Cemetery, located off Old State Road in Erving, is closed for burial. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Center Cemetery, located on Mountain Road in Erving, has fewer than 50 burial plots left. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Center Cemetery, located on Mountain Road in Erving, has fewer than 50 burial plots left. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 8/5/2022 3:46:50 PM
Modified: 8/5/2022 3:43:43 PM

ERVING — Town Administrator Bryan Smith has tasked the Selectboard with developing a scope of work that will be used to solicit engineering proposals for a new cemetery.

Smith brought the topic to the Selectboard during this week’s meeting, citing a shortage of burial lots in Erving between its two cemeteries. Should the project be assigned, the hired firm would “explore the viability and make recommendations of potential” for development on one of three town-owned parcels, as noted in Smith’s email to the Selectboard on July 29.

“These are just exploratory, just to see if any of these parcels have some viability for it,” Smith noted.

The goal is to have a final report available by March 2023.

The town’s existing cemeteries include Holton Cemetery on Old State Road and Center Cemetery on Mountain Road. Holton Cemetery is closed for burial, while Center Cemetery has fewer than 50 burial plots available, according to Smith. The process of planning for a new cemetery, Smith said, is something Erving hasn’t done “in a century.”

“The proposed cemetery should provide a space that will reasonably provide anticipated burial capacity for the next 100 years,” Smith wrote in his email to the Selectboard. “The proposed cemetery should be assessed with an ability to maximize capacity, to provide convenient access for families and should be laid out in a manner that improves care and maintenance of the cemetery.”

Parcel 3-0-5, a roughly 30-acre plot of land being considered for the prospective cemetery, lies opposite Fourmile Brook and East Access Road along Mountain Road. Parcels 1-3-16 and 1-3-7, the other parcels being considered, lie behind the French King Restaurant and Motel between River Road and Northfield Road.

“We want to explore town property that we currently own … before we consider the potential of having to buy property,” Smith said.

By September, Smith hopes to have entered a contract with an engineering/architectural firm and to have held a project kickoff meeting. Field visits and data collection should then commence between October and December. Next February, a preliminary report should be completed. Finally, by March 2023, Smith hopes to have a final report “outlining methodology, findings, conceptual maps and charts, and recommendations on next steps.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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