U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Chris Stewart (UT-02) have introduced legislation in the Senate and House, respectively, that would transfer 100 acres of land currently owned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to the city of Fruit Heights in Davis County. The land will be used as a cemetery for the city. Fruit Heights currently has an agreement with neighboring Kaysville for burials, however due to the significant population growth the region has seen, Fruit Heights has been notified that its residents will soon no longer be able to be interred in the Kaysville cemetery.
"This legislation fulfills a basic need for the residents and City of Fruit Heights, as well as the neighboring communities," Hatch said. "I'm going to work with Rob and Chris and ensure this common sense and necessary legislation gets signed into law as soon as possible."
"Over 65% of the State of Utah consists of federal land, and therefore there is a finite amount of state and private land available to communities on which they can expand and grow," said Bishop. "This poses unique challenges for communities like Fruit Heights, which currently has no local cemetery and is no longer able to rely on surrounding communities. With no other place to go, this small plot of forest service land is really the only option as they look to address their growing needs."
"We are happy to participate in this process and look forward to working with the Forest Service as they do the right thing, and help meet the needs of Fruit Heights city," Stewart added.
"We are very pleased with the introduction of this land acquisition legislation that will help Fruit Heights acquire much needed land for a city cemetery and preserve open space on the eastern boundary of our community," said Todd Stevenson, mayor of the City of Fruit Heights. "We recognize that this is just the first step in the process to complete this acquisition for our city, and we look forward to working the members of congress to bring this to fruition. We appreciate the hard work by Senator Hatch and Representatives Bishop and Stewart in supporting this important effort for Fruit Heights City."
Hatch introduced similar legislation last Congress but it did not receive a vote.