Beverly considers price hikes for village burial plots

BEVERLY – A plan to increase the prices for plots at the Beverly Cemetery was introduced Wednesday at the Beverly Village Council’s regular meeting.

“The village has been in charge of selling plots and the opening and closing of graves for quite some time,” said Beth Kenyon, council member.

Kenyon noted that it has been more than 20 years since there has been an increase in the price for plots at the cemetery on Ohio 339.

“The prices haven’t been changed since sometime in the ’80s, I believe,” said Kenyon. “Today was just an opportunity to bring it before the council, so for the next meeting we will be able to have an ordinance written so it may be voted upon.”

Currently the price of a grave for residents of the Beverly area is $150 and $200 for anyone outside of the area. The proposal suggests that rates be increased to $250 for residents and $350 for non-residents.

The price of opening and closing graves is set to increase as well, going from $325 to $400 for both Beverly residents and those who live outside the area.

“The cemetery really requires a great deal of maintenance and upkeep especially during the summer,” said Beverly Mayor Rex Kenyon. “We generally have to hire someone to help cut the grass about six months out of the year. The cemetery always operates at a deficit, we are just trying to help reduce that deficit.”

There would be some time before the increase in rates would go into effect.

“I imagine the ordinance will pass next month and then there will be at least another 30 days before it goes into effect,” Kenyon said. “So if you are looking to purchase a grave plot at the normal price make sure you do so in the next 60 days.”

In other business the council reviewed the Beverly Volunteer Fire department’s 2012 annual report.

The report included the total number of incidents the department responded to, which was 79, and had a breakdown detailing what those responses were.

According to the report the departments average response time from the tone being sent out until the first unit arrived on scene was 3.5 minutes.

“That type of a response time from a volunteer fire department is pretty much unheard of,” said James Ullman, council member. “I would hope that our community members would feel a sense of safety and pride with a department posting numbers like that.”

In 2012 the department also was able to pay off a loan it had to purchase one of its tankers with and is currently debt free.

“That is pretty important because we are now looking to put a committee together in the next two or three years to replace one of our engines,” Ullman said. “It was bought in 1988 and by replacing it we will be able to help increase efficiency and reduce insurance prices for the community.”

The next Village of Beverly regular council meeting is scheduled for March 13.