BROCKTON – Council disagreed with a staff report recommending no winter interments at the Walkerton cemetery.
Council is of the opinion that such interments should be offered to families on compassionate grounds.
Coun. James Lang, who is a licensed funeral director, commented that asking families to go back in the spring is often difficult, especially when people have had to travel long distances for the funeral. Lang noted neighbouring municipalities have winter interments and suggested contracting out the service. There would be an additional fee.
“I think this is a service we can provide,” Lang said. “I would like to see it go ahead.”
Coun. Steve Adams said not all families will want the service, but some will, and suggested doing a pilot in Walkerton.
Gregg Furtney, director of operations, said the extra cost would be in the range of $250-$300. In addition to the actual interment, there would also be snow removal and staff costs. The fees and charges bylaw would have to be updated, and a contract with a seasonal employee changed.
A motion to conduct a pilot project involving winter interments at the Walkerton cemetery carried.
In other council news
• Adams asked county planning staff about “the time it takes for planning reports” and whether the backlog was being monitored. He was told that there has been a higher volume of files this past year compared to other years, despite the pandemic. With one of the planners back from parenting leave, the backlog is being reduced.
• Council voted to support a resolution from the Township of Springwater, to include the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for men into the national health-care system. The test helps detect prostate cancer.
• An agreement with the developer of Walker West subdivision, while a “good news” item, raised questions from council regarding wording of the document. Coun. Kym Hutcheon said, “We were told we couldn’t make changes, and now there are all kinds of changes.” CAO Sonya Watson said that while there was “flexibility” in the wording, all the necessary clauses were included in the agreement.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times