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CEMETERY FEES HEARING 9-1-10 LMS

A public hearing September 1st to accept comment on the city’s proposal to increase cemetery rates and to establish separate rates for non-city residents drew no response. No one spoke either in favor, against or made neutral comments regarding the new fee schedule.

Under the proposal offered in Ordinance 10-766, the cost of a standard interment at the Salmon City Cemetery will be $400 for city residents and $500 for residents outside the city limits. The cost of a cemetery plot will be $400 for residents and $600 for those not living in the city. The list of costs for city and non city residents also includes interment rates for infants, cremains interment, plot maintenance, hourly rates charged by the cemetery staff for work performed outside of normal working hours and the cost of disinterment.

Council discussions tied to passage of the ordinance’s first reading brought up the need for more detailed clarifications in the document and for more research.

Councilman Jim Kluesner reported on cemetery rates in other areas for people within and outside of cemetery districts. City Administrator George Ambrose pointed out that most cities have established cemetery districts so that costs are spread over a larger population base and he said very few cities actually operate cemeteries. He said formation of a district takes some time and might be something to consider for the future. As it is now, city tax-payers are bearing all the costs of cemetery operations. Ambrose said, “Because of our budget constraints and not wanting to raise taxes and not getting help from the county, then we felt like those who don’t pay city taxes should pay a little bit more.” He said cemetery rates in other areas dealing with similar situations were anywhere from $700 to $1000 for non-residents.

The council unanimously passed the first reading of the ordinance with the intention of making further clarifications during the second and third reading process.


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