Cemetery issues top of agenda for council

Entrance to the Central Otago District Council building. Photo by ODT.
Entrance to the Central Otago District Council building. Photo by ODT.
Addressing and regulating the management of cemeteries in the district will be at the centre of a full meeting of the Central Otago District Council today.

The council’s previous cemeteries and crematoria bylaw 2008 has expired and a new bylaw needs to be prepared.

According to the agenda for the meeting, the proposed bylaw to be put to council is no different than the former bylaw but two areas of cemetery operation need attention.

The first pertains to 500 reserved plots in council-owned cemeteries. These were plots that have been purchased in advance as cemeteries have to be developed in advance of immediate demand.

The second item needing attention regards trust-operated cemeteries taking bookings without payment or only a deposit, or only permitting ‘‘locals’’ to be interred.

During Level 4 of the Covid-19 pandemic, staff in the Emergency Operations Centre had to provide information on available burial capacity across the district.

To meet the demand for reserved plots over and above the about 150 interments per year in the district, council had to install cemetery beams in advance. This meant undertaking capital investment in anticipation of demand.

Also on the agenda is the development of a solid waste bylaw, as is a Covid-19 recovery update report and ratification of recommendations to council from the past round of community board meetings.

jared.morgan@odt.co.nz

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