Ashcroft Council is ready to address the lack of burial plots in the Village’s one and only cemetery. The plots have been sold out for some time although there are still many places available for ashes at the columbaria.
At its Jan. 25 meeting, Council decided to put the topic on the list for a future planning session.
“I think we need to get working on this,” said Coun. Doreen Lambert. She recalled a poster on the bulletin board at the grocery store asking if anyone had a burial plot to sell.
“It’s sad that we have residents who can’t be buried in their own town,” she said.
Coun. Barbara Roden said she had seen other posters around town as well as in The Journal.
“I think this probably will decrease in the future as traditional burials go out of style,” she said, but she agreed that it wa a situation that needed to be dealt with.
Village admininstrator Michelle Allen acknowledged that the current cemetery is sold out of traditional plots.
“There is room in the columbaria for cremated remains,” she said, “and the vast majority of people tend for cremation these days.”
Allen said “The land designated as cemetery on the mesa would require extensive development to make it safe and appropriate for a cemetery,” and the Village has been reluctant to develop it.
“Development costs are reflected in cost per plot,” she said. “We want to make it affordable.”
In Vancouver, she said, where land is at a premium, a burial plot can cost several thousands of dollars.
Allen said the only land that may be at all acceptable to the Village is across from the present cemetery, on the other side of Railway Ave. She said the subject will be discussed during budget deliberations.
“It’s a lot of paper work,” she said. The Consumer Protection Branch oversees the creation of new cemeteries and the maintenance of existing ones. “It’s a huge amount of work for municipalities.”
If Council does decide to create a new cemetery, Allen says it is still Council’s decision whether a new cemetery would take full-sized plots as well as cremated remains.”