LA CROFT - Prices within the Liverpool Township portion of Spring Grove Cemetery will go up following a vote taken by trustees at their regular meeting earlier this week.
Board members approved a measure raising prices at the cemetery after discussing how several local cemeteries had raised their prices over recent years.
Board President Keith Burke said that the township had fallen "behind the times a little bit" by not raising prices in a similar manner to surrounding cemeteries and emphasized the need for Spring Grove to remain in step with the prevailing market.
Trustee Steve Betteridge agreed with Burke, comparing the township's outgoing rates with generic rates from surrounding cemeteries. "We're charging $175 for cremations. Everybody else is charging $250 to $450," he said. Remaining competitive and staying on top of costs requires raising prices to keep up with changing costs, he argued.
Cemetery superintendent Jeff Moore voiced his support for the price increases, stating the fees being charged haven't kept pace with the rising cost of concrete and other materials. "It'll be five years next month that I started with the cemetery, and the price has never changed," he said.
Moved by Burke and seconded by Betteridge, the measure was approved unanimously.
The cost of foundations increases from $.59 per square inch to $.70 per square inch. The price for grave lots sees a 20-percent increase, from $500 to $600. Opening and closing fees undergo a similar increase, from $600 to $700. The most significant increase comes in the price of cremations, which climb from $175 to $300 - an increase of nearly 42 percent.
The price increases become effective May 15. The charge for Saturday services will remain at $195, as the number of interments held on Saturday are relatively few.
Trustees emphasized that these new charges apply only to the township portion of Spring Grove Cemetery. The section owned and operated by the city of East Liverpool remain unchanged.