Council debates cemetery

Staff were challenged over extensive areas of brown grass at the cemetery over the summer.

Concerns continue to surface over conditions at Vernon’s Pleasant Valley Cemetery.

During Wednesday’s 2016 budget session, staff were challenged over extensive areas of brown grass at the cemetery over the summer.

“We get complaints about the condition of the grass,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

In 2015, a number of measures were taken to address an expected reduction in revenue at the cemetery. Among them was cutting irrigation by $18,400.

Staff presented the proposed 2016 budget for the cemetery Wednesday.

“The service level will remain the same which means the same level of watering,” said Shirley Koenig, director of operation services, adding that the cemetery deficit for next year could be about $24,000.

However, that situation didn’t go over well with Coun. Catherine Lord.

“It (cemetery) is something that’s very visual. I’d like to improve the level of service,” she said.

“It’s not looking attractive which a cemetery should because there’s so much emotion attached to it.”

Ultimately, council decided Wednesday to add $28,000 to the budget to increase irrigation at the cemetery. The funds will come from reserves.

Treated waste water has been investigated for irrigation but it would have to be hauled in from the sewer treatment plant or spray irrigation facilities in the Commonage.

“The cost would be excessive compared to what you are trying to save,” said James Rice, public works manager.

Mayor Akbal Mund has made another suggestion based on visits to California.

“What’s the cost of spray paint to keep it green?” he said.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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