More cremations puts pressure on niche spots at mausoleum

 

More people are opting for cremation rather than interment in a full-sized casket these days.

That means the land base at the Prince George’s Memorial Park Cemetery is in good shape. The niches used to store cremated remains, however, are running out.

“Based on current cremation to full burial ratio, there is an estimated 50+ years of land inventory remaining, this number is expected to increase as the trend to cremation vs traditional burials continues to rise,” said Dave Dyer, general manager of engineering and public works, in a report to council. “Current occupancy statistics for the mausoleum show a much different picture as available niche space is less than 10 per cent. Selling an average of 38 niches per year suggests the remaining 46 niches will be sold and the niche inventory of facility will be replete by 2018.”

The expansion of mausoleum space at the cemetery is a top priority for Parks Division-Cemetery staff, he said. A feasibility study was commissioned in 2017 to look at options for expanding the current facility to ensure the city does not run out of indoor interment space. Construction of “Phase 2” would see an additional 860 aluminum glass front niches of various dimensions added to the mausoleum’s inventory. This project has been added to the capital expenditure program for consideration in 2018. Other proposed projects of note include the construction of a memorial wall and the creation of a scattering garden.

In 2016, Council approved a three per cent increase over the next four years to all fees and charges.

Council will receive Dyer’s report tonight.

Memorial Park Cemetery is located on 53 acres of park land within the southwest bowl sector of Prince George. The earliest recorded interment was in 1914. The site was used for burials prior to this time, but no records were kept. The property was managed by the provincial government until April 4, 1918, when the municipal government assumed responsibility for the operations of the cemetery.