Danville will purchase land from school district for cemetery

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, October 25, 2017


kendra.peek@amnews.com; ben.kleppinger@amnews.com

The City of Danville plans to acquire a narrow tract of land from Danville Independent Schools that will allow for expansion of Bellevue Cemetery.

Email newsletter signup

The school district and city commission both voted separately Monday night to approve the sale of the property, located behind Danville High School between the school and the cemetery, for $22,500.

The school board had previously approved the sale, contingent upon Kentucky Department of Education approval. On Monday, the board approved an order which declared the property as “surplus to the needs of the school district,” said Board Attorney Vince Pennington.

“So the school district is not going to be impaired by not having the property,” Pennington said.

The order also authorized Superintendent Keith Look to sign the contract of sale on the property.

Pennington said the district would send an approved order to the Kentucky Department of Education for final approval.

Danville City Commission agreed to the sale of the property at its Monday-night meeting, voting 4-1 in favor of purchasing the land for use as additional space in Bellevue Cemetery.

Danville City Manager Ron Scott recommended approving the purchase of the land, which he said was recently assessed at a value of around $20,000.

“The cemetery … is essentially full with very few opportunities for expansion. This would present the city with an expansion opportunity,” Scott said.

City Attorney Stephen Dexter said the property is about 350 feet deep and 70 feet wide.

Mayor Mike Perros made the motion to approve the purchase.

“I think anytime you have the opportunity to purchase adjacent land to a cemetery that’s already nearing capacity — we have an obligation here, in my opinion,” Perros said. “And it’s a fair price.”

City Commissioner Rick Serres voted against the purchase. He said after the meeting the city didn’t need to be making another expenditure when it already has “a lot in process” and he’s unsure whether the city should even be managing a cemetery.

“There is a question in my mind as to whether we want to stay in the cemetery business or get out of it,” he said. “Purchasing the land (means) we are going to stay in it, but again, I’m not sure that question is resolved in my own mind.”

The land has served as a location for various pep rallies and bonfires over the years, but Superintendent Look said it had never served an official “academic” purpose. He said the district was pleased to be able to make it available to serve the community’s needs.