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Q: Is it true that Cape Girardeau spent $15,000 on its skateboard park and there is about $500 worth of steel and $2,000 worth of labor at the most? Where did the other $12,500 go?
A: According to Dan Muser, director of parks and recreation for the city: "The skatepark at Missouri Park was built on old tennis courts using a $15,000 donation from the Evening Optimist Club. The ramps and skatepark equipment were purchased from the American Ramp Co. through a bid process for $14,700."
Because of insurance requirements, it was necessary to purchase the equipment from a certified skatepark manufacturer.
"The balance of the donation was used to purchase paint and patching material for use in preparing the concrete surface of the old tennis courts prior to installation of the equipment," Muser said. "The equipment was installed by the staff of the parks and recreation department, the value of the labor was over $1,000."
Q: What are the local and state health laws governing burial in a cemetery in the city? What are the things required? Is embalming required or a metal casket or a concrete grave liner or other items?
A: The city of Cape Girardeau Web site offers the following answer: "Burial of human remains must be in a casket enclosed in an outer container."
For responses to your specific questions, I talked to Terrell Weaver, cemetery sexton.
"The minimum required for health laws is a wooden box for the outer box, although most cemeteries around here require more than that. They want a steel or concrete box.
"The body must be buried or embalmed within 24 hours. Very seldom do we have a burial that is not embalmed."
Each cemetery in the state actually has its own requirements, with city cemeteries typically being the least stringent. Contact a local funeral home for more specific answers.
Q: Is it true that there are several companies interested in building condominiums in downtown Cape Girardeau?
A: There is quite a bit of residential activity in downtown Cape, with much of it centered on lofts above downtown businesses. The only condominium or townhouse development I was able to track down is the $4 million Spanish Court project, which has been reported extensively in the newspaper.
Jerrianne Wyman, part of the development team for this project, recently wrote me: "We are thrilled with our project and think that it will be the next big thrust our area needs. Lots of folks are showing an interest, and we are so far pleased with the response. We're eager to get some ground broken and move some dirt."
In today's business section, Tony Rehagen writes about a potential office and retail development overlooking the Mississippi flood wall across the street from Buckner Brewing Co.
Jon K. Rust is co-president of Rust Communications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.