WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) - The Central Texas population boom is now even starting to affect the dead. Some of Austin's outlying communities are seeing their cemeteries fill up. That means residents might have to bury loved ones in another town -- or even another county.
"(Our) town is getting bigger," said Bill Breedlove, Wimberley Cemetery Association president. "The more people you have, the more people you have dying."
Wimberley Cemetery -- 40 miles southwest of the Capital City -- is nearly full with 1,400 buried, and local families have already reserved any open, available plots. People like Carmen Polhemus planned ahead.
"We're going to be buried between (my husband's) grandparents and Daniel," said Polhemus.
Her 19-year-old son, Daniel, died in a car crash in 2005. She visits his grave every week.
"I think that's probably why I'm as outspoken as I am about the need for a cemetery, because we get tremendous comfort," she said. "We can't nurture Daniel here, but we can take care of his gravesite."
As secretary/treasurer of the cemetery's nonprofit organization, she and other volunteers actually take care of the entire site – now tasked with finding more room. The group has used ground-penetrating radar, finding several unmarked graves and also discovering some free space.
In addition, they got rid of a road to open another section of graves, and they have even been offering people with open plots money to sell them back.
"Some people may have just put in a hundred dollars, and we're ready to give back $800 for a 10x10 [square-foot plot]," Polhemus said.
Their efforts meant people who died suddenly had an immediate place of rest, like the family of a still-born child this year. But they also know another family had to bury someone in a cemetery out of town.
"Our solution is to get another group of citizens together and trying to find some extra acreage and start a new association," said Breedlove.
"We're not looking and begging for land and things," said Polhemus. "We're looking for people who can help make it possible that no one has to be buried outside of Wimberley."
Polhemus said it is tough to imagine not being able to visit her son's grave.
"Daniel lives on in the hearts of his friends," she explained. "So it gives them a place to gather."
Making space here or elsewhere in Wimberley means others will have that chance with their own loved ones in the future.
"We need to always be prepared for that family that's facing that," she added.
The numbers suggest that this trend is only going to get worse. In 1990, Austin's population was 465,622, while Wimberley's was 2,403. By 2010, Austin had swelled to 790,390, and Wimberley had also gone up to 2,626.
The Austin City Council will take up billing errors and problems with the appeals process at Austin Energy during Thursday's meeting.
The judge presiding over the trial to oust District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg ruled Wednesday that she'll stay in office.
Mack Brown’s longtime friend and attorney said Wednesday that the veteran coach of the Longhorns has not yet made a decision on his future, but that it will come soon.
After hundreds of park-goers complained about a lack of off-leash dog space in the new design of Auditorium Shores, the Austin Parks and Recreation Board is hoping a compromise will alleviate any concerns.
The sign-language interpreter on stage at Nelson Mandela's globally broadcast memorial service was a faker who was waving his arms around meaninglessly, advocates for the deaf said Wednesday.
County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the buyout of 23 homes in the Timber Creek neighborhood.