September 18, 2023 |

Photo – Hanna Cemetery – by Matt Copeland Bigfoot99

Hanna officials want to expand the town’s cemetery. However, the adjacent landowner won’t give or sell the property to the town.

During last Tuesday’s Hanna town council meeting, Mayor Jon Ostling said Public Works Director Larry Korkow informed him that the town’s 110-year-old cemetery is nearly out of space for additional burials. Mayor Ostling added that two Hanna residents have been personally maintaining the graveyard.

Mayor Ostling said the property surrounding the Hanna Cemetery, known as the Hanna Draw, is owned by Aggie Grazing LLC, a Lakewood, Colorado-based, livestock feeding company. Aggie Grazing was created by Sweetwater Royalties to manage grazing rights on land purchased by the mineral extraction company for trona production. Mayor Ostling said the town asked the grazing company to donate the property between the western edge of the existing cemetery and North Tipperary Road.

Mayor Ostling said the town offered to put up a snow fence on the rise beside North Tipperary Road to block drifting snow. The mayor said the grazing company will allow the town to install the windbreak but will not give any property away. Mayor Ostling said the town offered to purchase the land adjacent to the cemetery. Aggie Grazing has not responded to the request, said the mayor.

Mayor Ostling said he heard unconfirmed reports that Sweetwater Royalties wanted to sell the entirety of their holdings in the Hanna Draw as a single purchase, as opposed to splitting the land into smaller parcels.

Mayor Ostling called for a motion to allow the town to continue attempting to buy more land around the existing cemetery.

Councilman Bill Dys said Sweetwater Royalties is attempting to sell the land to the state. Mayor Ostling said representatives from the mineral company met with Governor Mark Gordon to encourage the state to purchase the land. Councilman Dys said he believes the state will be more accommodating to the town’s request for additional cemetery space.

Councilman Roger Hawks motioned to allow the town to continue to investigate expanding the Hanna Cemetery. Councilman Dys seconded. The motion carried.

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