Syracuse considers raising fee for baby burials

Nov 28 2012 - 12:55am

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SYRACUSE -- City officials are considering a move to raise fees for a child burial to the same level as interment costs for adults.

The city currently charges a $100 fee for infant burials, and the fee does cover the costs, according to Robert Whitely, director of public works, who suggests it costs as much for an infant burial as for an adult when backhoe and employee costs are factored in.

Adult burial fees are $300 for residents and $700 for nonresidents.

The burial fee was a recent work session topic for council members. Typically, work sessions are held to investigate the possibility of initiating action on a special issue or item for a regular city council meeting. Council members approved a new city fee schedule earlier this year, which includes all fees for the cemetery.

Whitely said city costs have little to do with the age of the deceased.

"It's the same costs no matter what is associated with the cemetery," Whitely said.

Councilman Brian Duncan noted the plight of families facing the issue of infant burial, but said it is not the role of the city to extend sympathy. He agreed with a suggestion from Mayor Jamie Nagle that the issue be addressed in an upcoming general session, so it can undergo further review.

City Manager Robert Rice asked the council to weigh the issue carefully.

"It's really your call at the end of the day," he said. "It's our recommendation you leave it as it is."

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