Possible Riverside Cemetery Expansion - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Possible Riverside Cemetery Expansion

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Wichita Falls oldest cemetery may soon be expanding. 

Riverside Cemetery has been around for over 150-years and in the last decade has not sold a grave space, because it is full. 

Jack Murphy, Wichita Falls Director of Parks and Recreation said people are constantly inquiring about being buried at the cemetery.

"Every week we get calls from people saying, I live out-of-town, but I would like to buy a space," said Murphy.

On Tuesday, that could change if Wichita Falls City Council votes in favor of a resolution to hire a contractor to develop a financial plan and preliminary design for the cemetery.

"We hope to do this to for the purpose of achieving a long time goal of the city of at some point of the future receiving self-support of the city cemetery option," said Murphy. 

Efforts to expand the cemetery are already underway. 

"The reason this is happening at this time is because the city is nearly complete with the acquisition of all the vacant lots and houses that were on Clift Street," said Murphy

Murphy said the city still needs to acquire properties but believes the best option is to move forward in the process. 

"So anticipating that event to happen in the next year or so we like to have the planning completed ahead of time so that we can move as quickly as possible," said Murphy.

If the city passes the resolution Tuesday, EDA Land Planning a contracting firm out of Salt Lake City, Utah, will begin developing a plan to expand the cemetery. The cost to hire the contractor $47,500. Funds for this project are all cemetery funds that have been collected over the years from people who purchased graves spaces from Riverside. 

Murphy said he thinks this move will be a win-win for residents and the city.

"It should be an opportunity for those citizens who had a desire to buy spaces in that cemetery for them to do so, to meet satisfaction. It'll be an opportunity possible see in the future that self-support status which will preserve the integrity of maintenance of our three cemeteries," said Murphy.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6