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Cemetery Committee presents revenue increase plan to City Commission

Proposals were presented last week to the Danville City Commission to increase the revenue of the Bellevue and Hilldale cemeteries. 

“Bellevue and Hillsdale are cemeteries, and there are no more desirable or less desirable spaces, and we want the commission to look at making all the grave spaces the same price,” Cemetery Committee member Gail Louis said. 

It states in the proposal that as of now, different sections in Bellevue are priced differently. The prices range from $325 for older section to $750 for the newer sections.

Right now, Hilldale does not have price variations. 

The Cemetery Committee wants to make the different sections in Bellevue the same price. However, they want to increase the grave cost at both cemeteries. 

The proposal states there will be an increase in cost from $750 to $800 for residents in Bellevue. At Hilldale, the price will increase from $325 to $400 for residents. 

Right now, the cemetery charges more for those who are not residents, which will continue at the current rate of double the price of one grave. 

“We charge extra for people who aren’t city residents,” Louis said. 

In the proposal, it’s stated that if they went with a flat rate on grave spaces that it would encourage more lot sales from those in the county and not just Danville. However, even though Louis said this has been discussed, it is only possible if more grave spaces are added.

The proposal states there will be additional overtime charges to cremation burials if held after 3 p.m., and there will be an additional weekend charge to cremation burials. Currently, the cremation burials cost $100 regardless of the date and time, but the weekend rate would cost $250 to cover the overtime costs.

There will also be a charge added for military markers, which are currently free, costing $50 to cover the cost of materials. The committee also wants to add a charge for anyone who wants a stone leveled or set, which would cost $100 a linear foot to cover the cost of materials and labor. This rate would exclude stones that are considered historic to the cemetery. 

Also, the committee wants to charge a tent set-up fee. In the proposal, it says the city could purchase and start setting tents again for funeral homes for $125. Currently, the funeral homes purchase and set their own tents. The committee said this may not be a good investment because it would take around two to four years at the current rate of burials to recover the costs for new tents. 

Lastly, the committee wants to increase the double depth from $100 to $500. The proposal says the fee needs to be increased due to the extra labor costs, but this is only if the city chooses to continue double depth burials. 

“This is something we have to look at as we run out of grave space,” Louis said. 

Bellevue is currently running out of grave space. 

“We have the ongoing issue at Bellevue that we’re running out of grave space,” Louis said. “We have discussed in great length ways to increase what we have. We are trying to scratch and look for every possible grave space we can find.” 

She said that the current rate of burials at Bellevue, within 10 years, the cemetery will be completely out of space. 

Hilldale is good for years to come, she said. There are several spaces available, and if they do run out of space, the city owns the area across the road that they could turn into grave space, but Louis doesn’t expect that area is needed anytime soon. 

“This is just something we need to keep in the back of our mind,” she said. “You can’t make space where land isn’t available—we realize that—and we need to keep looking.”