Fair Haven Burial costs rising
By Darren Marcy
Staff Writer | June 19,2014
FAIR HAVEN — The cost of a burial in Fair Haven has gone up as the town works to cover rising costs.
The Select Board agreed to the increased prices at its June 9 meeting.
“We’re not trying to make money on this, but there are costs to the upkeep of a cemetery,” said Town Manager Herbert Durfee. “We’re not trying to gouge anybody.”
Durfee said that more of the burials and cremations were taking place on weekends, which requires overtime and therefore higher costs associated with the action.
The increased fees will help take that into account with a two-fee schedule that charges a higher rate for after-hours burials or cremations.
“Most of the burials and cremation services are on weekends now, which we have to pay overtime for,” Durfee said. “We more than meet the salary costs to bury somebody.”
The cost for a burial from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday has increased from $500 to $575.
An after-hours burial is $625.
A cremation during business hours is now $250, up from $175. An after-hours cremation will cost $300.
The Select Board accepted a recommendation to offer parents of kids a discount, as well as discounts for veterans with certifying documentation.
“Kids are not supposed to die,” Durfee said. “The idea is to give the family a break for the tremendous loss.”
The new fees allow for free burial for children up to 5 years of age, and a 50 percent discount for kids 6-17.
There is also a 50 percent discount offered for veterans.
“It’s to give an additional form of benefit for those who served,” Durfee said.
Durfee said the selectmen eagerly approved the changes allowing for discounts for kids and veterans.
“That sailed right through,” he said.
The one sticking point that resulted in some debate was the idea of having different rates for residents and nonresidents.
Durfee said the board decided to eliminate the different fees.
In addition to covering the fees the town incurs, the cemetery committee will also get a little funding for upkeep.
“The cemetery committee is an active group in town and there are costs associated with that,” Durfee said. “With these fees, we also have some funds for upkeep of the cemetery.”