By Christine Bryant
For the first time in more than a decade, Prairie Township has raised its fees for its Alton and Galloway cemeteries.
At the Dec. 28 board of trustees meeting, board members approved the new fee schedule effective Jan. 1, 2023.
Township residents will now pay $750 per grave, which is up from the previous fee of $600. Non-township residents will now pay $1,250, up from $1,000.
Other fees include:
●Opening and closing on weekdays: $400 for township residents and $800 for non-township residents
●Opening and closing on Saturdays until noon: $500 for township residents and $1,000 for non-township residents
●Opening and closing on holidays until noon: $600 for township residents and $1,200 for non-township residents
●Cremation on weekdays: $300 for township residents and $600 for non-residents
●Cremation on Saturdays and holidays until noon: $450 for township residents and $750 for non-residents
Holiday rates will be in effect on the day that the township designates as employee holidays. A complete list of the township’s cemetery fees can be found online at www.prairietownship.org.
Prairie Township road superintendent Dave McAninch said the change in fee structure is the result of rising maintenance and other related costs. Resident grave costs have not changed since 1999, while resident opening and closing costs have not changed since 2006, he said.
Several other fees have not changed in price since 2012.
In other news, at an earlier special meeting at Prairie Township Fire Department’s Station 241 that evening, township trustees performed the swearing in of nine full-time firefighters. The new positions are being funded through the Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established to help increase or maintain the number of trained, front-line firefighters in communities.
SAFER grant funds can only be used for funding personnel positions and are provided directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations.
At the special meeting, trustees also approved an automatic aid agreement renewal with Washington Township.