SYRACUSE -- City leaders do not expect to make changes in cemetery burial fees, after a resident recently requested the $100 fee for an infant burial be waived.
After reviewing burial fees for cemeteries in neighboring communities, city officials appear to be satisfied with leaving the current rate schedule as it is.
The city charges a $100 fee for infant burials, and adult burial fees are $300 for residents and $700 for nonresidents.
The burial fee has been a work session topic for council members twice since November.
Typically work sessions are held to investigate the possibility of initiating action on a special issue or item for a regular city council meeting.
In July 2011, council members approved a new city fee schedule, which included all fees for the cemetery.
"I feel in comparison with other cemeteries these fees are still some of the lowest fees in our area," Robert Whitley, director of public works, said of the current fee structure.
Councilman Brian Duncan suggested that waiving fees could set a bad precedent.
"We have to be careful what we do. Oftentimes we want government to take care of a thing, and when we start waiving fees, we are in the business of deciding who needs charity and who does not," Duncan said.
Fire Chief Eric Froerer agrees. He said waiving the infant burial fee could set a precedent, where residents would then potentially expect other fees, like ambulance transport fees, to be waived.
"If I transport an infant and that infant doesn't survive, I still have to bill them," Froerer said.
City Recorder Cassie Brown said there is a provision in the city code under which people may request a hardship waiver.