Penticton set for cost of dying increase

City council moves forward with plan to get local cemeteries' finances in order

If you truly want Penticton to be your place to stay forever, it’s going to set you back a little more.

The cost of being buried in Penticton is going up over the next few years as the city moves to upgrade and repair the city’s existing cemeteries while gradually increasing fees to move to a cost recovery model.

According to a Cemetery Services Master Plan prepared for the city by Lees+Associates, it will cost about $1.3 million to expand Lakeview Cemetery to handle future needs, as well as restoration work at Fairview Cemetery.

That’s on top of the current $190,000 subsidy for the cemeteries, which covers operations as well as debt financing and capital repayment for the $2.5 million columbarium and mausoleum added to Lakeview in 2008-09.

“At the present time, there is no more space left at Fairview Cemetery,” said Erik Lees.

“At Lakeview, there is approximately three years of room for the burial of cremated remains, only six years of capacity for traditional casket burial and lots of room left for entombment in the columbarium and mausoleum.”

While the columbarium has seen use, Lees noted there have been only two interments in the mausolea since they were built.

Lees recommended moving to a cost recovery model over the course of five years, rather than doing it in a single jump.

“If you would like to move to cost recovery in one year, we would be looking at approximately a 150 per cent increase in prices for in-ground burial and even more than that for cremation plots,” said Lees.

“The recommended option is to move to cost recovery in five years in 15 per cent increments. That would see you recover your cemetery operations and your interest costs.”

After that, fees would continue to increase to match inflation, but even so, Lees said fees would still be lower than Kelowna.

“We would continue to be in a competitive position for all of the primary areas of interment options that are presented,” said Lees, noting that all of his options showed a decrease in the mausolea pricing, which he said was set too high originally.

Council voted to endorse Lees’ report and directed staff to develop operational and capital work plans to implement the recommendations.

Beyond expanding Lakeview, Lees’ report concludes that both cemeteries are in need of care, especially Fairview, Penticton’s oldest cemetery, built in 1892.

“The cemetery needs a little TLC. The monuments have declined over time. The gates need repair if not replacement, the turf condition should be improved,” said Lees, noting that tree roots have begun shifting some of the monuments, which need to be restored.

“There is really no historic or interpretive educational signage of any sort,” said Lees.

“We think that should be updated to fully exploit the cultural significance and opportunity here.”

Even with the Lakeview expansion, Penticton will run out of cemetery room in 25 years. Beyond 2035, additional burial capacity will be required at another location.

Lees identified the city’s remaining property behind Munson Mountain, a 10-acre piece originally purchased for sports fields, as an ideal place for expansion.

Work there, he said, would have to begin five to seven years before Lakeview is expected to reach capacity.

 

Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness shared images of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read