After a second round of funding deliberations, East Carbon officials voted Tuesday night to accept a Community Impact Board proposal which would allow the city to build a much needed municipal cemetery. The East Carbon vote took place only after CIB members agreed to lend the city approximately $420,000 for a 30 year term at 2.5 percent.
"I would really like to commend councilman Maggio," said Mayor Orlando LaFontaine, who was also at the CIB funding session. "When he got his opportunity to address the board, he was able to demonstrate just how emotional and necessary this project is. In the end, he was also commended by the CIB board and they don't do that."
According to Maggio, the board initially entertained a motion which would have provided the city with half grant and half loan for the project. That proposal was defeated by a single vote.
While the council would have preferred a grant, Maggio did report that if the city was able to sell all of the proposed plots, they would not only be able to pay back the loan but would also raise some extra capital.
"If we set up an enterprise account and sell the cemetery plots, we can pay this back and have a little extra money," he said.
Maggio and LaFontaine learned the loan marked the first time CIB officials had funded a cemetery.
"This cemetery to me, is something that is a necessity," said Maggio. "This is the offer that was made, we aren't going to get a grant anywhere else and it is imperative that we break ground on this project."
With that, Maggio moved to accepted the CIB's proposal. The motion passed unanimously. However, council members Darrell Valdez and Cheryl McFarland were excused from the meeting.
LaFontaine said he would like to promote plot sales at zero percent financing. On that note, city attorney Jeremy Humes asked that local officials be very specific when moving forward with financing on what amounts to real property.
The cemetery, which will take built on what is locally referred to as the Butler Property adjacent to Denver Ave., will be completed in two phases. Initially, the ground work for the boundaries and approximately half the plots will be created, it is this phase which the CIB loan will help to build.
The CIB had denied East Carbon officials earlier this year, when they approached the body about funding the entire project. However, the new scaled back two phase plan along with the city's willingness to take a loan made a difference with the board.
With funds now secured for the first half of the project, JUB Engineering along with East Carbon employees can now start ground work on the cemetery.