City cemetery plots vary in rates depending on location in city

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 24, 2017

Members of the Picayune City Council met with department heads to discuss requests for funding in the next fiscal year.
City Clerk Amber Hinton said she put a decrease of revenue in the cemetery budget from $109,667 to $108,251 due to the decline in purchases of city cemetery plots. She expects the ending cash balance to be $202,672, down from this fiscal year’s balance of $218,171.
During discussion of that budget, the price of plots was said to be too low and that the price of plots needs to be the same across all city cemeteries.
Hinton said the price for a plot purchased by a city resident at the Eighth Street cemetery is $100. A person not residing in the city would pay $200 for a lot there.
However, at the cemetery on Palestine Road, the price per plot to a city resident is $200, and $450 to people not residing in the city.
Councilor Wayne Gouguet said the prices need to be adjusted to fund the cemetery budget and so prices are the same for both locations.
Discussion of installation of a fence at the cemetery on Eighth Street involved Councilor Lynn Bogan Bumpers indicating she would be more vocal during this term in office.
That comment came after Gouguet suggested installing a chain link fence at the Eighth Street cemetery in lieu of a faux wrought iron fence as requested.
According to figures listed on handouts at the workshop, the price for the faux wrought iron fence was estimated to be $63,408. The reasoning behind the fence is to restrict access to lessen instances of dumping and vandalism.
When Gouguet asked how much it would cost to install a chain link fence instead, Bogan said that if the city can install a decorative fence at the new cemetery on Palestine Road, then funds to install a similar fence at Eighth Street can also be found.
Public Works Director Eric Morris estimated the cost for a black vinyl chain link fence would cost $42,000.
As far as the city’s inventory of plots was concerned, Morris estimates the city has enough for possibly another 10 years since about 20 are sold per year.
During discussion of the tourism budget, Hinton said $86,000 will be added to that budget from the general fund to balance that budget. Also, the anticipated revenue budgeted for the current year did not come in. Parks and Recreation Director Trevor Adam said the cancellation of two major tournaments to be held at Friendship Park were a factor in the $11,000 shortfall.
Some requests were also made by Councilor Larry Breland concerning repairs to other city parks. He requested $21,017 for repairs to Leola Jordan Park, $1,017 in repairs to Ben Taylor Park, $1,492 in repairs to Snyder Park and $5,000 in repairs to J.P. Johnson Park.
No budget information was included concerning potential revenue coming from the use of Crosby Commons, however City Manager Jim Luke said he has already received two requests from organizations or individuals to use the park in November.
Hinton estimates it will cost $35,000 annually to maintain that park.
The budget information discussed during the workshop is preliminary and has not been approved by the Council.

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