May 08, 2015 - 4:33 PM
KELOWNA - A consultant has identified one particular housing market segment in Kelowna where demand is only going to go up and where the city can eventually make some serious money — cremation lots and burial plots.
Current inventory at the city-owned Kelowna Memorial Park cemetery is predicted to run out within eight years. The report recommends the city spend $11-milion refurbushing and expanding the 104-year-old cemetery that sits under the shadow of Dilworth Mountain.
The goal is to make the cemetery financially sustainable — it has struggled to break even in recent years — and eventually return a profit to the city through a series of price hikes bringing them in line with current industry rates.
Prices would go up five per cent per year from 2017 to 2027 and then two per cent per year after that. People with out-of-town addresses will pay 25 per cent more than locals.
Forecasts are for 12,800 internments over the next 23 years, 72 per cent of them cremation interments and 28 per cent casket interments.
While consultant Lees and Associates have also prepared a status quo option, they are recommending councillors adopt the fast track version which would take the cemetery to break-even within five years and would eventually bring in an estimated $440,000 per year.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015