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Cleanup finally coming to Flat Creek
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Council supports cemetery fee increases

“It’s getting too expensive to die” in Gainesville, said Councilman George Wangemann, though with tongue firmly planted in cheek, after City Council gave its initial approval Tuesday night to increasing rates for burial services at Alta Vista Cemetery.

The rate increases are the first change since 2004 when the city expanded the cemetery and built a mausoleum.

Rising operating costs prompted the need for the fee adjustments at the 140-year-old municipal-owned resting place tucked between Dawsonville Highway and Jesse Jewell Parkway, according to cemetery Superintendent Tommy Hunt.

Hunt said costs for burial plots and mausoleum space at the cemetery will remain below the price point at other cemeteries in Gainesville.

Hunt said about 1,500 plots are currently available and that more than 20 acres of land remain undeveloped at the cemetery.

The rate increases will take effect once council gives a final approval to the changes in the New Year.

Joshua Silavent

Proposed rates at Alta Vista Cemetery

Burial plots

Old section: $1,000 for city residents, up from $700

Old section: $1,200 for noncity residents, up from $800

New section: $1,200 for city residents, up from $1,000

New section: $1,500 for noncity residents, up from $1,100

Mausoleum

Niche space: $700-$1,450, up from $600-$1,350

Crypt space: $3,910-$12,006, up from $3,400-$10,800

Funding to improve Flat Creek’s water quality has finally been approved in what city officials called a “monumental” agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Six years in the making, Gainesville City Council on Tuesday night authorized spending about $670,000 for the stream restoration project aimed at restoring water flow and repairing the native ecosystem.

Flat Creek, which runs 6 miles from downtown Gainesville to Lake Lanier, has suffered from pollution and contamination resulting from litter and sewage spills.

The city has now partnered with the Corps of Engineers to rehabilitate about 3,300 feet of Flat Creek from Dorsey Street to Hilton Drive.

The project near the century-old Gainesville Mill calls for converting the old fire pond on the property into a regional detention pond.

The project’s total cost would be $1.9 million, with the corps contributing more than $1.2 million.

Mayor Danny Dunagan said getting the funding lined up “shows persistence does pay off.”

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