Burial costs at the Terrace Municipal Cemetery are rising sharply as the city seeks to revise a bylaw which will help to better align prices with actual service costs.
In a presentation to council Nov. 10, city official Carmen Didier said the price of a regular full body burial for an adult, when all items are included, will rise to $1,255 from $855.
“It is a substantial increase but we have not had a fee increase for the services provided since 2007, and it was very minimal then and didn’t take in actual cost,” said Didier.
For an adult the cost of a burial service alone is rising from $380 to $720 and an infant burial alone is rising from $210 to $720. The burial services for cremated remains is rising from $136 to $200 while the price for a columbarium niche – an above ground vault with compartments for cremated remains – is fixed at $750.
The cost of the actual interment plots are the same but the service costs are rising, added Didier.
The price of disinterment is rising from $125 an hour to $385 per hour. The installation of the memorials, which must be purchased separately, is also rising. For example the price of 30 cm by 50 cm bronze memorial will now cost $135, up from $85. The cost of grave liners has also risen.
According to Didier, the city averages between 40-60 burials a year, 20-30 of which are full body burials. The majority of cremations are either placed in the columbarium niches or interred near the graves of loved ones.
“The amendment is to increase the cemetery fees for the services that we provide which includes the interments and installations and supply material like the grave liners. The recommended fee increase does not include the cost of grave spaces,” she said.
A grave space for an adult is still $300 and for an infant it is $170.
For its operations up to early November the city had cemetery revenues of $30,714 and expenditures of $89,000. The fee increases will bring in a projected $12,500 more to city revenues.
Councillor Bruce Bidgood asked if perhaps the price was too high now for some people to afford the funeral services but Didier assured him that provincial government aid is available in cases where parties are financially strapped.
Council gave first, second and third reading Nov. 10 to the bylaw approving the fee increases as outlined by Didier.