Completion of first phase to accommodate 24 vaults estimated by mid-March
Work on a long-awaited new cemetery in Bodden Town is under way.
The 3.75 acres adjacent to the Bodden Town Civic Centre includes both land-side and beach-side space.
“We are very happy that we no longer have a shortage crisis,” said government minister Osbourne Bodden, a resident of Bodden Town.
“The cemetery entrance and compound is being well decorated and will become a nice graveyard for our loved ones. The land is very deep and property is also owned on both seaside and land side. So, hopefully, we are good for many years,” he added.
By last month, all construction contracts relating to the project had been tendered and commissioned.
Phase 1 and 2 of the site is on the land side and phase 3 will be on the seaside. The Public Works Department estimates that phase 1, which can accommodate 24 vaults on the land side, will be completed by mid-March.
A rezoning application has been submitted to the Central Planning Authority for a change of use for the oceanfront land.
For several years, the government had been unsuccessful in finding suitable land in Bodden Town for a new cemetery after the existing graveyard filled up.
However, before the elections last year, then-Minister Mark Scotland, a legislator for Bodden Town, said Cabinet had approved the purchase of land and the cemetery project would go ahead, pending planning approval.
History of the BT grave plot
In 2004, land off Lake Destiny Drive in Bodden Town was earmarked for a new graveyard, but because the land was low lying, that plan was scrapped.
Government then looked at purchasing 75 feet to 100 feet of land at the back of the existing cemetery.
A number of vaults were damaged during excavation work carried out in an effort to squeeze 16 more vaults into the old cemetery.
Cemeteries in Cayman are usually created on beach land above the high water mark, as is the case in Bodden Town.
Many years ago, when the islands’ population was far smaller, beach locations were probably selected for cemeteries due to the relative ease with which vaults could be dug.