WATER VALLEY – The cost to purchase a lot at the city-owned cemeteries will increase after aldermen approved multiple recommendations from Street and Parks Superintendent Michael Scroggins to update the fee schedule.
The cost to purchase a cemetery lot will increase from $150 to $500 at Oak Hill Cemetery and Oak Ridge Cemetery. The cost for city workers to open and close a grave will increase from $300 to $500 on weekdays and from $350 to $600 on weekends.
Scroggins explained the new rates are still less expensive that surrounding areas and are necessary to cover the costs incurred by the city to maintain the cemeteries.
“On the weekends during a funeral, sometimes it takes the funeral home two or three hours,” Scroggins explained about the overtime paid to city employees for an opening and closing.
The decision at the Jan. 7 meeting followed months of discussion after Scroggins explained the rates were so low that people with no connections to the town were purchasing cemetery lots. The new rates will take effect after the city’s existing ordinance is amended and publishing, likely some time in March.