BOUNTIFUL - After Tuesday night, it may cost more to get buried in the Bountiful City Cemetery.
That’s because the city council is due to consider raising all cemetery-related fees during its regular meeting which starts at 7 p.m. It will be held at city hall, 790 S. 100 East.
Fees that could be increased include, with current fees listed first followed by proposed: plot sales, resident, $500, $600; non-resident, $700, $900; interment, resident, $400, $525; non-resident, $600, $800; overtime/weekend adjustment, resident, $200, non-resident $350.
The hikes are necessary to pay for maintenance and upkeep, some of which has been put on hold, city officials said.
Also, if no action is taken now, the self-supporting cemetery fund could be $4.5 million in the hole within 30 years, said Paul Rowland, city engineer.
Upgrades range from installing curb and gutter on some roadways to fixing a sagging ceiling in the cemetery office. The council and mayor were discussed the issue during a retreat held Thursday and Friday, Feb. 6 and 7 at the Wight House.
Council members were divided on taking action only days after the retreat, but it looked likely that the fee hikes would be approved.
“Is the extra revenue going to be worth a push back from the citizens?” asked Councilwoman Beth Holbrook, questioning the probable quick vote.
“When there’s a power rate hike, people can have the chance to conserve energy. They can’t do that with this,” said Councilman John Pitt.
“The longer time we wait from today, the more plots will be sold” at the current rate, said Councilman John Marc Knight.
“There was probably a spike in plot sales of 30 percent the last time” a rate hike was imposed in 2007, said Councilwoman Kendalyn Harris.
“The total money that will be generated due to the rate increase isn’t that big. If we sell an extra 100 lots, if’s $15,000,” Rowland said.
The rate hikes would become effective immediately, should the council approve them, City Manager Gary Hill told the Davis Clipper.
“Our concern is not necessarily the buying of plots,” he emphasized.
The former West Point city manager said that his experience there showed many people bought plots for their children and spouses.
“As things happen, the kids often get buried wherever they are (later). We may not even know who purchased the lots,” years down the road, Hill said.
“We end up with a lot of ground reserved and we don’t know who it belongs to,” he said. “It becomes a problem for the cemetery. They don’t know who’s entitled to those plots.”
The rate increases would place Bountiful’s rates about average with other area cities. It is the only city cemetery in the county south of Centerville, first established in 1854, the council was told.