TORRINGTON – Cemetery rates in Torrington haven’t been raised in more than 10 years, but that’s about to change.
The Torrington City Council approved an increase for rates at Valley View Cemetery during its meeting on June 5.
“In comparison to most cemeteries, we’re probably a lot higher than most, but you have to realize that we have a bigger cemetery,” said John Friedlan, Valley View Cemetery sexton. “We have a lot more maintenance. With our budget shortfalls, we’re trying to make up for it a little bit.”
Depending on a number of factors, including the size and type of lot, prices will increase between $25 and $250. Grave disinterment, where the grave is dug up or exhumed, is rare but generally saw the biggest increases; for example, the proposal called for an increase of $400 for a weekday, adult disinterment.
Friedlan said burials are declining due to a rise in cremations, causing a loss of revenue.
Mike Patterson, owner of Colyer Funeral Home, said the proposed prices were comparable with those in Scottsbluff, Neb., and Gering, Neb., and offered the council some suggestions to lower and modify prices. As a result, the council lowered two proposed rates; out-of-town, non-resident, double spaces went from $1,400 to $1,200 and non-resident weekend cremation grave opening and closing is $525 instead of the proposed $575.
In other council business:
The council voted 4-1 on the second reading of the city’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget with Councilwoman Deanna Hill casting the opposing vote. City officials have conducted six budget work sessions as of Tuesday. Mayor Mike Varney encouraged the public to comment at the June 19 council meeting before the budget’s third and final reading.
The council also approved the final reading of an ordinance supporting the renewal of the fifth-penny tax.
The council approved the request from LaGrange to proceed with an application to the State Loan and Investment Board for a mineral royalties grant to close its landfill. The council approved the use of LaGrange’s consensus block grant funding for the same purpose.
Following Police Chief Billy Janes’ recommendation, the council approved an open container permit for Debbie Quest for a street dance on July 20 in conjunction with Crazy Days. Dance organizers will close off an area of Main Street between 19th and 20th avenues. Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band, who are also scheduled to appear at Cheyenne Frontier Days, will play at the dance.
The next regular council meeting is June 19 at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Community Complex.
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