<i>You cant take it with you</i><br>Cottonwood raises prices for cemetery plots
Staff photo by Philip Wright
By action of the Cottonwood City Council theis week, a city resident burial went from $50 to $250. The opening and closing costs went from 4200 to $400. There are still no charges to families of veterans for interment.
Members of the Cottonwood council passed an amendment to the city's policy regarding the operation of the cemetery Tuesday night.
Council members decided to pass the amendment that will now require two days notice instead of one before the time of a funeral. Funerals occurring on holidays will no longer be permitted and the fees for funeral services were raised with the amendment.
Richard Faust, the director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, addressed the council. His department oversees gravesite maintenance operations.
After the meeting he said Cottonwood is one of the few Arizona municipalities to operate a cemetery.
In recommending the changes, he and his staff researched and surveyed how Flagstaff, Glendale, Mesa and Clarkdale handle their cemetery operations.
At the current Cottonwood cemetery there are no more plots for sale. But there are about 130 spaces that have been purchased and are currently empty.
Faust and his crew are often overwhelmed with Saturday funerals, causing hours of overtime.
"Basically the one change we wanted to put into effect was to recoup all of our costs," he said.
According to Faust, the city was losing money in cemetery operations because of the low costs charged for digging plots and the perpetual care of the sites.
Even though fees have increased, Faust said Cottonwood charges on the low end of what other municipalities charge.
A city resident burial went from $50 to $250. The opening and closing costs went from $200 to $400. There are still no charges to families of veterans for interment.
Formally there was no policy for nonresidents wishing to be buried at the city's cemetery. The new policy charges $350 for nonresident burials.
A new Cottonwood cemetery is planned for construction near the city's airport. Faust said getting the new fees and policies in place help with the new plans.
"Basically it should help us in the realm of both finance issues and personnel issues," Faust said.