A proposed mausoleum could be the solution to issues at the Eldon city cemetery, according to discussion between Mayor Ronald Bly and the Eldon Board of Aldermen at a work session on Aug. 20.
Slab rock just under the soil's surface has been making it difficult for city workers to dig at the cemetery, which has become costly for the city.
"We go in the hole every year," said Steve Johnson, public works director.
On average, getting through the rock to dig one grave plot takes three workers about four hours, Johnson said.
"Right now it's a losing deal for us," Bly said.
The mausoleum would be built to hold about 260 caskets, with additional spaces for urns. The move would be space efficient, using the ground space for about 40 lots to place more than 200 caskets, Johnson said at the work session.
The rocky ground, while problematic for ground burials, would be ideal for building a structure of this sort, Johnson continued.
The mausoleum project would cost an estimated $439,000, with a potential net income of $646,000 when completely sold out, Bly said.
The mausoleum project would be paired with a refinancing of Eldon's City Hall. Currently the city owes about $191,100 on its city hall and is paying 7 percent interest along with county taxes, said Debbie Guthrie, city administrator, at the work session.
If the city borrowed $1 million to cover the cost of the mausoleum project, the city hall loan could be refinanced to a 2.5 percent interest rate along with savings of about $4,000 in county taxes. That would leave approximately $400,000 from the new loan to put toward street and infrastructure repairs next year.
"The amount of money we're going to save with our $4,000 in taxes plus the annual interest payment is going to really help to pay for the cemetery situation because it's going to be a gradual return," Guthrie said.
The mausoleum project has not yet come before the Eldon Board of Aldermen at a regular monthly meeting. Bly asked the aldermen at the work session to look at information regarding the project for future consideration.