Rates for Swift Current's cemeteries seem to be set in stone for the most part.
The City of Swift Current will have to update its rates for the local cemeteries for 2023 through 2025, but won't be increasing the majority existing fees.
The previous rates, from 2021 to 2022, will end on January 31, 2023. It was revealed during Monday's city council meeting that the City plans to renew the existing fees with a zero per cent increase, outside of a four per cent annual increase to the costs of lots/niches.
Presenting the matter to Swift Current City Council, was Jim Jones, the general manager of community services for the City.
"When comparing the City of Swift Current's existing fees for internments/disinterments," explained Jones. "The City was among the highest in the province. We have put in for a zero per cent increase for those fees."
It might seem strange for a City fee or rate to not increase as time moves forwards. Normally, rates and fees are adjusted in order to ensure secured revenue gains that keep up with inflation and other factors.
Swift Current cemeteries are ahead of the curve though, being at the higher end of the rate in similar markets for Saskatchewan.
In 2021, the City budgeted for a recovery of close to $187,00. By year-end, they had managed to recover just over $212,000. The gains seen there can be partly attributed to circumstances surrounding the pandemic.
In the following year, 2022, the City captured $126,000 of the budgeted $192,500. A sharp change from the prior year's gains.
Reexamining the cremation lots, the City will be adding the option for two internments per niche.
"Currently, the City's cremation lots allow only for the internment of a single cremation," revealed Jones. "Administration is recommending the introduction of a double cremation lot fee."
With this addition, future developments would include double cremation lots, expanding the available choices for prospective customers.
With this idea, comes a four per cent increase in fees for lots/niches.
"This two-year plan will assist those who depend on the City's fees to prepare accordingly and to reduce the administration time involved in setting these fees annually," stated Jones.
Council voted to approve this plan, setting in motion what will be the standards for the next two years.