2012-04-13 / Front Page

Big plans

Cape Elizabeth will pay to rebuild cemetery wall
By Kristy Wagner
Staff Writer


Riverside Memorial Cemetery in Cape Elizabeth will see some updates and improvements in the near future. The town council voted in favor of approving an updated master plan for the cemetery, which included allocating $45,000 from the general fund to go toward extending a portion of the cemetery’s stone wall along Route 77. (Kristy Wagner photo) Riverside Memorial Cemetery in Cape Elizabeth will see some updates and improvements in the near future. The town council voted in favor of approving an updated master plan for the cemetery, which included allocating $45,000 from the general fund to go toward extending a portion of the cemetery’s stone wall along Route 77. (Kristy Wagner photo) Cape Elizabeth Town Councilors voted unanimously to support the Riverside Cemetery Master Plan update, which included allocating $45,000 from the general fund to extend the stone wall that runs along the perimeter of the property. The money will go toward the portion of the wall that runs along Route 77 and cuts off before the end of the property.

Aside from the stone wall buffer, the new master plan includes controlling invasive plant species, such as honeysuckle and bittersweet, that obstruct the view of Spurwink Marsh.

Other master plan updates call for a buffer between burial plots and the maintenance building; planting trees along Route 77 to provide an additional buffer in conjunction with the stone wall; additional tree plantings in open areas of the cemetery and details concerning burial plot layouts and the layout of the flagpole circle in the center of the property.

Members of the public had no comment on the matter at Monday’s town council meeting and councilors showed collective and individual support of the master plan updates.

“I think the plan is very well done and I want to support it,” said Councilor Jessica Sullivan.

Councilor Jim Walsh said he was in support of the plan as well, and thought that proposed changes in the plan were appropriate steps to take for the property.

In addition to physical changes to the cemetery layout and structures, the master plan update proposed new burial fees. Proposed fees include $600 for full-size burials and $425 for cremation burials, with a $150 additional charge for Saturdays and holidays.

Disinterment fees include $1,300 for a full-size internal relocation; $650 for a full-size disinterment with relocation to another cemetery; $875 for internal relocation of a cremation; and $450 for disinterment of a cremation with relocation to another cemetery.

Lot fees jumped $100 each for full-size and cremation lots. Cremation lots will now cost $400 and full-size lots will now cost $750.

“The cemetery is operating at a loss and (raised fees) help make up for that loss,” said Town Manager Mike McGovern. “You really can’t predict income too accurately. We hope this increase will help with the budget, but not enough to make a substantial impact.”

Councilor Frank Governali informed the public that the new cemetery fees were comparable to those of the surrounding communities.

“The fees that were adopted here are intended to bring fees in Cape Elizabeth closer to what is charged in surrounding communities. They are still very reasonable relative to those surrounding communities,” Governali said.

The council voted unanimously to approve the new cemetery fees.

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