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Flackville Cemetery Association hopes to acquire land for future plots

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LISBON – The Flackville Cemetery may be expanded in the near future if Dean Akins, president of the Flackville Cemetery Association, gets his way.

The cemetery, which still has between 600 and 700 empty plots, will need to be expanded within the next decade, Mr. Akins said at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Currently, Mr. Akins said, the cemetery is filling up roughly 20 plots per year.

“We’re not in a situation where we need it right now,” Mr. Akins said, emphasizing that he wants to be able to plan for the future.

Making matters more complicated, the cemetery is surrounded by farm land and wetlands, meaning expansion will be difficult because the cemetery doesn’t have enough money to purchase more property.

But Mr. Akins, who owns Five Mile Farms, recently purchased some of the land abutting the cemetery property on Cemetery Road.

“We bought the corn ground all the way around it, and this land is with it,” Mr. Akins said.

He said a swath of forest he owns that isn’t being used for agriculture is right next to the cemetery.

Mr. Akins said he is going to have the land appraised “and the bank won’t let me give it away if it’s worth anything.”

Mr. Akins purchased the land with a bank loan.

But he is looking into ways to transfer some of property to the cemetery.

Mr. Akins told council members he wants the town’s support in order to build a new road through the cemetery to enable access to any new plots that become available if he is able to transfer the land.

“I’m looking for grant money to build a new road for the cemetery that would be issued through the town,” Mr. Akins said.

“Our first thing is we have to figure out if the cemetery can even take the land,” Councilman Nathanael Putney said.

Councilor Alan D. Dailey said the road could not be built at taxpayer expense.

Lisbon Attorney Charles B. Nash said the town could only get involved in building a road if “there was a serious safety concern.”

Mr. Akins said turning over his land to the cemetery could also be tricky because there is a potential conflict of interest. He is also president of the cemetery association. He said he hopes to find out soon whether the transfer is possible and begin clearing trees to make way for new plots.

“You have to take the trees out and let the roots rot out so you can put a vault down,” he said. He said that process could take up to a decade.

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