Changes to the Burns Lake Cemetery guidelines are being investigated.
During last week’s council meeting cemetery bylaw number 897 was discussed with a recommendation being made that village staff be authorized to make any changes they feel are necessary to the cemetery bylaw to ensure guidelines are clear and consistent.
Village chief administrative officer Sheryl Worthing said that times are changing as there seems to be more cremated remains plots than burial plots being requested.
She added, “The village also receives requests to allow a number of cremated remains per plot.”
“We have to look at what the needs of the public are, but still follow the Cemetery Act.”
She went on to say that the changes will be mostly focussed on the public’s requests for more that one created remains to be interned per plot.
In a council report prepared by Stephanie Beerling, deputy director of corporate services, she states that the current bylaw allows for the internment of only one cremated remains per plot.
“Village staff have identified that it is possible to place two cremated remains per plot and we have received this request from a number of residents,” she said.
Beerling’s report also identified the need to clarify what can and can not be placed on a grave site to ensure routine maintenance is not obstructed and also so that village staff disrupt grave sites as minimally as possible during maintenance.
Councillor Luke Strimbold asked Worthing, when village staff make the changes, whose needs would be put first, local residents or village staff.
“What will be the priority? Will it be [the needs of] families or will it be the [needs of] works crew,” he asked.
Worthing said the first priority when making the changes will be based on the needs of the family.
“A decision will be made based on what the client wants. We will go to the crew and ask how does this work, then look at other municipalities, making sure that we are within regulations,” Worthing said. “The reason for the review is that people are coming in to ask what they can and can’t do at the cemetery,” she added.
Council approved the recommendation for the village staff to make any necessary changes to the village cemetery bylaw, including allowing two cremated remains per plot.