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Waddington considers increasing burial rates

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WADDINGTON – Burial rates could increase in the town next year.

Town council members will research this year whether they should increase costs of burials to accommodate increased costs for overtime labor.

“We’ve been told our rates are cheaper than dirt,” Town Clerk Carol A. Burns said Monday. “They have not increased since I have been here, and I have been here over 23 years.”

The town’s current rate is around $125 for burial plots in New Brookside, Old Brookside, Union, Scotch Presbyterian, or Chamberlain Corners cemeteries.

Most municipalities charge between $175 and $200, with some charging extra for weekend burial, Mrs. Burns said.

The town council asked Highway Supervisor Robert Dalton to keep track of the amount of hours and days the employees work throughout the year. Once the information is compiled, the town will revisit the issue in November.

Mr. Dalton said he thinks employees typically complete the work by hand without the use of heavy equipment.

“It’s something to think about,” Town Supervisor Sandra R. Wright said. “We’re not in the business to make a profit, but at the same time we don’t want to subsidize grave openings with tax dollars.”

The year-long process of cleaning over 200 stones in Old Brookside Cemetery was recently finished, and workers from Witherbee and Whalen Inc., Canton, will now move on to repair stones in the town’s other cemeteries.

“Some of the other cemeteries need dire work done to them,” council member Travis S. McKnight said.

The $14,500 project was funded by a donation from a private estate, Mr. McKnight said.

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