Municipality may help fund private cemeteries


By Barb McKay

The Municipality of Kincardine is looking into providing annual funding to maintain private cemeteries after receiving a large grant request from one local cemetery board.

This year, the Lovat Cemetery board submitted a community investment grant application looking for $7,783 to maintain the small private cemetery and install a new fence. Municipal staff recommended in its report on grant allocations for 2017 that the board of directors receive the full amount.

The project was singled out by councillors during the May 10 Kincardine council meeting when they reviewed the list of recommended grant recipients. Councillor Maureen Couture expressed concern that the allocation for the Lovat Cemetery was taking too much funding away from other community projects and organizations and suggested that perhaps funds could be added to the municipal cemetery budget for private cemeteries.

The municipality has a budget of $25,000 for community grants this year, as well as a budget of $25,000 for minor sports. Councillor Laura Haight pointed out that the ask for Lovat represents 30 per cent of the funds available for community grants. She agreed that it would be appropriate to include private cemeteries in the annual municipal budget.

The Lovat Cemetery is located on Concession 8 in the former Township of Bruce and borders Brockton. The cemetery is managed by a board of seven volunteers. One, Sharon Teeple, attended the May 10 council meeting.

“We work with very little money and we appreciate the support you have given us over the years,” she said. “Without our help it would cost you a lot more money to maintain.”

Interments still take place at Lovat and there are 46 plots remaining in the cemetery.

Couture introduced a motion to include money in this year’s budget to cover the board’s funding request. Mayor Anne Eadie said council would direct Treasurer Roxana Baumann to bring a report back to council with a budget amendment for the cemetery. Councillor Laura Haight said she would like to see a report that outlines how the municipality could set aside funding annually for private cemeteries.

Council deferred approving the community investment grant allocations and will review them at a future meeting.