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Norton Shores cemetery nearly full, another could open next year

Norton Cemetery filling up, available number of plots down to around 50.

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — The Norton Cemetery in Norton Shores is nearly full and according to the city only around 50 vacant plots remain, those could be gone in six-months. 

It's why the city purchased an 11-acre parcel of undeveloped land at 1256 East Ellis Road. The property is east of the Muskegon County Airport and not far from the Norton Cemetery on Airport Road.

"We're running out of space and so people have been asking what's going to happen," said Norton Shore Mayor Gary Nelund. 

The city is moving forward with a three-phase plan to develop the East Ellis Road property into a new cemetery. 

"Citizens have been asking for it and it's needed," said Nelund.

The cemetery will be located where East Ellis Road dead ends at US-31.

Phase-one of the city's development plan includes space for 725 full body grave sites. Before those sites can be sold the city has a lot of work to complete including building roads, a cemetery office building, bathrooms and garage to store equipment. The site will need landscaping, irrigation and fencing. Initial cost of the project is around $850,000 including $190,000 to purchase the property.

"We looked at various places all over the city," said Nelund. "It was a unique piece of land because of the shape you couldn't really use it for manufacturing and it wasn't attractive for residential. So it just made sense."

The new cemetery could open sometime in 2022.

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