Plans To Relocate Iowa Cemetery Scrapped; New Site Planned

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) — Plans to relocate an Iowa cemetery that is surrounded by a brickmaker’s industrial complex have been scrapped.

Established in 1854, the Woodbury Township Cemetery in Sergeant Bluff has reached its capacity of 1,200 graves, and there’s nowhere to expand.

In August, Brickworks North America had offered a nearby 10-acre site for a new cemetery with space for 5,600 graves. The company also offered to pay to develop the new cemetery and move the graves, The Sioux City Journal reports.

But some people didn't want their ancestors graves disturbed, and Brickworks recently learned that relocation costs would run $2.5 million higher than initially anticipated.

Instead, Brickworks and the city agreed to a land exchange in which the company will give the city the 10-acre site for a new cemetery. In return, the city will give the brickmaker a road that runs through the company’s industrial complex and enters the cemetery on the south.

Brickworks also will provide land for a new street entering the cemetery from the north, providing a safer entrance for cemetery visitors who will no longer have to watch for the company’s heavy equipment. The company will split street construction costs with the city.

“It was pretty simple to me we had to have both cemeteries,” said Mayor Jon Winkel.