Kamloops city council has rubber-stamped a new cemetery master plan and approved for preparation a bylaw update, which will see prices for core services like burials rise by about 25 per cent next year and continue to rise by an additional 2.5 per cent annually until 2030.
An audit determined rates in Kamloops to be significantly lower than other communities.
An adult burial in Kamloops currently costs $3,470, compared to $4,300 in Prince George and $5,350 in Kelowna.
The city’s goal is to cover cemetery costs via user fees and the planned increase will see the cost of a burial next year increase to about $4,350. By 2030, with increases above that of inflation and totalling more than 20 per cent, that same adult burial will cost another $1,000, or about $5,400.
The city says pricing adjustments will improve the bottom line of cemetery operations by also making double-depth plots more financially attractive.
It will also conserve land, offsetting increased labour costs to dig winter graves and recovering higher costs for installation of plots with grade beams, which is a concrete strip that allows upright memorial markers.
Meanwhile, the city is also preparing for Hillside Cemetery on Notre Dame Drive in Southgate to reach capacity and the new plan accounts for contemporary trends in dying, with a shift toward cremation over traditional burial, along with green burials, family columbaria and scattering gardens.
A concept plan has been drawn up for expansion west of Hillside Cemetery, which is estimated to provide inventory — including cremation plots, burial areas and scattering gardens — for 30 years.
Bylaw amendments will also restrict transfer of a right of interment to immediate family members only.