MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

December 14, 2013

Cemetery rate hike correct call

The city hiked rates at Greenhill Cemetery for the third time since 2008 — and that’s OK.

The fees range from 5 percent to 28.57 percent higher depending upon the service provided and take effect Jan. 1.

Although the fee increases are significant for some services — lot sales would increase from $350 to $400 and disinterments from $350 and $700 to $450 and $900, respectively, depending upon the container size — they are lower than privately owned cemeteries in the area and competitive with comparable municipal graveyards.

Unfortunately, dying is expensive. Family and friends must cope with not only the loss of a loved one but funeral arrangements as well during a difficult time.

The increases are comparable with other municipal graveyards, and that’s why the city made the correct move.

Prior to 2008, the previous hike was 1994, Cemetery Supervisor Vernon Clinton told the Phoenix.

The city also showed prudence by not increasing the price for lots in blocks set aside for Veterans of Foreign Wars No. 18 and American Legion No. 120 and Baby Land. Lots set aside for the veterans groups will remain at $150, and Baby Land lots will remain free.

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