Borough raises rates to help pay for cemetery expansion

The assembly has raised rates for cemetery plots and other fees to help pay for the expansion of Sunset Gardens.

The fee for a full-casket cemetery plot went up by $670 to $1,000, effective April 26. Previously, a grave plot cost $330 and plots for children under six years of age were $150.

Opening and closing of the plot during the weekdays remains at $900, but a weekend opening/closing now costs $1,500, an increase of $415.

Headstone installation costs $200, an $80 increase.

The borough plans to start work later this year to add 50 gravesites at the cemetery, with plans for an additional 50 plots possibly next year.

And to pay for a new columbarium that will be installed later this year, the fee for each niche will increase to $550 from $330.

The new columbarium will have two side walls “for those who do not require a niche to intern ashes but still wish to memorialize their loved ones,” according to the borough assembly resolution setting the rates. The fee for each memorial space on the wall is $100, an increase of $70 from $30 for the old columbarium. Plaque installation costs $35.

A maximum of two full-casket burial plots and two niches in the columbarium can be reserved at a time for immediate family members. Previously, there was no limit, which led to multiple plots being booked at a time. Borough staff had asked if anyone wanted to relinquish reserved space, but there were no takers.

A bit of history remains in Wrangell’s municipal code: “No person shall drive any horse or vehicle in or through the cemetery, its roads or paths, for ordinary purposes of traffic and travel, nor permit any cattle, horses, sheep, hogs or other stock of any kind to enter in or upon or to feed or graze in the cemetery.”


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