December 19, 2013 - 8:45 AM
INCREASED CEMETERY RATES STILL BETTER THAN OTHER COMMUNITIES
PENTICTON - Cemetery rates are going up but a councillor is not concerned about those left behind looking elsewhere for a better deal.
Penticton's leadership approved increasing the fees for plots, interment, staff overtime and more so city-owned cemeteries can get closer to breaking even. The city performs an average of 256 interments a year and makes $292,000.
The city does however subsidize Lakeview Cemetery to the tune of $185,000 per year according to public works manager Len Robson. The revised rates are estimated to raise cemetery revenue to $338,500. Fairview Cemetery is also subsidized to the same amount as Lakeview, but closed to new burials.
Some on council were concerned about pricing themselves out of the business.
"This huge increase could be a huge hit for somebody saving for this," Coun. Judy Sentes said.
Councilors John Vassilaki and Wesley Hopkin disagreed.
"Do people really shop around when it comes to the cost of cemetery services?" Hopkin asked. People are typically buried in the community they died in and the city will continue to have better rates than other municipally-owned cemeteries.
"Our dead people have it real good here," Coun. John Vassilaki said, compared to expensive cemeteries in Vancouver and other large centers. "That's why they come here when they retire, to pass away cheaply."
The price of a standard size plot for residents will rise from $555 to $971 in 2014. The price of non-resident plots will skyrocket from $735 to $1,286.
Small size plot prices will go from $190 to $332 in 2014. Non-resident small size plots will nearly double in price from $360 to $630.
Even cremation-sized plot prices will go up. In 2013 it cost $170 for a tiny piece of land to bury a loved one. Next year it will cost $297. Prices for non-resident cremation plots will also increase from $340 to $595.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013