North Cowichan increasing cemetery fees

North Cowichan council has voted to look at increasing cemetery fees by three per cent annually for the next five years.

North Cowichan council has voted to look at increasing cemetery fees by three per cent annually for the next five years.

When discussing the idea at the Nov. 16 council meeting, Coun. Al Siebring asked if, since he has heard that cremation is far more popular now, the municipality might look at increasing the cremation fees a little more to help recover the costs of operating the cemeteries, if that is the plan behind the proposed increase.

“We have talked about that,” said Ernie Mansueti, North Cowichan’s parks and recreation director. “But, if you increase cremation fees too much, will people just decide to go up mountains [to dispose of ashes]?”

Coun. Rob Douglas caused some unexpected hilarity around the council table when asked, “Are these one-time fees?” before realizing how that sounded.

There were snorts about “difficulty collecting” from around the room before council decided to go ahead and ask staff to draft the bylaw.