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Proposed Didsbury cemetery changes include updated enforcement

Perpetual care fee not being added to the Didsbury bylaw

DIDSBURY - Town council has given first reading to an updated cemetery bylaw, with proposed changes including updated enforcement provisions for violating the legislation.

The move came by way of motion at the recent council meeting following a review by the policy and governance committee.

One proposed update under the records and sale of plots section, states: “If a person no longer wishes to hold their title over a plot, they may sell the plot back to the Town (of Didsbury) at 85 per cent of market value of the plot at the date of resale. The town may request a copy of the original receipt to be submitted as proof of purchase.

“Plots purchased for the purpose of interring a veteran shall be free of charge. Sufficient documentation of service must be provided to the Town of Didsbury upon request.”

A change under the interment and disinterment section, a change to wording reads: “Disinterment of a body or ashes shall not take place until a permit for disinterment is issued in accordance with the Cemetery Act and Vital Statistics.”

The proposed updated monuments section reads, in part: “Monuments shall be constructed of bronze, marble, granite or other material approved by the Town of Didsbury.”

The proposed updated maintenance and care section reads that, “No person, other than Town of Didsbury employees shall disturb, remove or plant any tree, shrub, plant, weed, grass, flowering ornamental, sod or dirt on any plot anywhere in the cemetery.

“The Town of Didsbury is authorized to remove any trees, shrubs, creeping or climbing plants situated on or about the cemetery that become unsightly, dangerous, inconvenient or detrimental to adjacent plots, the free use of a plot, walkways or driveways.”

The proposed change to the bylaw also include updated enforcement and penalties section, including the addition of words stating, “In the case of an offence that is of a continuing nature, a contravention constitutes a separate offence in respect of each day, or part of a day, on which the offence continues and any person guilty of such an offence is liable to a fine in an amount not less than that established by this bylaw for each such day.”

The committee is not recommending a perpetual care fee be added to the bylaw.

After passing first reading of the updated bylaw, council referred it to the policy and governance committee for further review and recommendation.

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