Cemetery costs climb in Vernon

Your final resting place is going to cost more - plots, cremation and internments hiked

Your final resting place is going to cost more.

Vernon council has increased the fees related to the Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

“Our fees are low, even with the increase,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

The current fee for a cemetery plot for a resident adult is $725. That will climb to $970 in 2014, $1,067 in 2015 and $1,174 in 2016.

For cremated remains, the plot cost goes from $216 to $290 in 2014, $319 in 2015 and $351 in 2016.

Internment for an adult will climb from $540 to $730 next year, $803 in 2015 and $883 in 2016 (cremated remains will also rise).

The last rate hike was five years ago and there is currently a $40,000 to $50,000 shortfall between revenues and expenses.

The maintenance/interment contract recently jumped 20 per cent.

The bottom line has also been impacted by societal views about death.

“Traditional burials have declined significantly,” said Kevin Bertles, director of financial services. “People have gone to the internment of cremation remains.”

As a result of fewer plot sales, the city is considering other options for the public, including possibly a columbarium, which can hold numerous cremation urns but doesn’t take up as much room as a traditional grave.

“We want to provide more contemporary services,” said Will Pearce, chief administrative officer.

Coun. Patrick Nicol wants assurances that increased funds will go towards maintenance of the cemetery.

“Hopefully we can maintain the service people expect when they go to see their loved ones,” he said.