The County of Wetaskiwin is entering into an agreement with the City of Wetaskiwin to provide 50 per cent of the Wetaskiwin Memorial Cemetery’s budget for operations and maintenance.
“They provided us with some budgets … along with a budget for the cemetery expansion,” said county CAO Frank Coutney.
The county’s portion of the Wetaskiwin Memorial Cemetery budget is just over $25,000, representing it’s operational component plus the 10 per cent administration fee outlined in the agreement.
During council’s May 15 meeting councillors approved the construction of a columbarium and expansion of the Wetaskiwin Memorial Cemetery Phase 1, with the interim budget for the expansion allocated form the Perpetual Care Fund, then provided three readings for amended bylaws for the cemetery and approved the Wetaskiwin Memorial Cemetery’s budget as presented.
The 50/50 agreement between the County of Wetaskiwin and City of Wetaskiwin will feed the Perpetual Care Fund. As the cemetery fills the fund will help provide the money needed to operate the cemetery without it becoming too much of an expense.
“I’m just thinking, 50/50 seems fairly generous on our part,” said Coun. Larry McKeever.
He questioned what percentage of the cemetery is former county residents compared to city residents. Coutney says that information is not available.
Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers and councillors Garry Dearing and Terry Van de Kraats stated they felt the 50/50 agreement is a fair number.
The expansion of the cemetery includes the addition of a third columbarium, which will cost approximately $55,000, with a vacancy expectancy of seven to 10 years. The money is included in the in the proposed 2017 Wetaskiwin Memorial Cemetery capital budget and will be cost-shared between the county and city.
The estimated cost of the ground expansion is $185,000 with an expectancy of 20 years, which will also be shared between the county and city.
Changes in the Wetaskiwin Memorial Cemetery bylaw includes increased pricing. The bylaw proposes two fee increases, the first to take effect July, 2017 and the second is scheduled for January, 2018.
The fee increases will allow the Memorial Cemetery to break even on its operating costs by 2018.