Cost of dying increases

It's going to cost more to die in Penticton. 

This week, the council gave the final nod to cemetery rate increases for the Lakeview and Fairview cemeteries by 75 per cent.

Councillor Helena Konanz, who voted against  the agenda item, describes the change as drastic.

"We had a couple of other options, and one was a more gradual increase, and I wanted that option," she said. "I also think  people plan ahead for these things, and to have it increase so much in one year is hard on people."

The cost of a standard plot size for residents will go from the 2013 rate of $555 to $971 in 2014. For non- residents, it will go from $735 to $1,286.25. While the rate change is for both cemeteries, Fairview is closed to new burials.

According to communications officer Simone Blais, this decision comes after the city conducted a cemetery master plan last fall that showed that the city's Perpetual Care Fund was in need of a boost to ensure future demand is met.

The report also found that internment services in Penticton were well below those in other Okanagan Valley municipalities.

For example, Kelowna charges residents/non residents $999 and just announced they would be increasing their rates, and Kamloops charges $1,249 for residents and $1,534 for non-residents, according to Blais.

"Staff did considerable research to ensure Penticton remains competitive in terms of associated fees," she said.

Further information on the cemetery rate increases is available under the city council information on the city's website.



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