Columbarium will hold urns in Lakeville Cemetery

 By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Lakeville Cemetery will soon have a columbarium – a filing-cabinet-style mausoleum with 480 niches for storing funeral urns.
The Addison Township Board voted to approve a quote for five columbarium units for a total of $166,690 from Sunset Memorial and Stone Ltd. based in Calgary, Canada. The company installed a similar columbarium set at Lakeview Cemetery in Independence Township.
Each columbarium is double-sided, with 48 niches on each side. The niches are 16 inches deep, which allows two urns to be stored, depending on the size. Each niche comes with its own security door and key. The columbarium will be installed behind the flagpoles next to the gazebo in Lakeville Cemetery.
“I think there is a sticker shock that comes with it, but it is going to be passed to the residents [who buy individual niches] and then it will be reimbursed,” said Township Clerk Pauline Bennett, who organized the project. Once the township makes its money back, funds from selling the niches will go toward maintaining the cemetery.
Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson said it will extend the life of the cemetery, by saving space, as other towns have done. “I think it’s time that our township decides to do that also because our cemetery is going to fill up, no doubt about it.”
The price for niche will be comparable to a traditional gravesite. “Our township only charges $100 for a plot in the cemetery, which is very reasonable for residents,” Pearson said. “If you bring in all of the fees for the funeral and dig for gravesite and everything like that it gets somewhere over $1,000. So these would be just about that same price.”
PEA Group will provide engineering services for the project, which must go through site plan approval with the planning commission. A conceptual plan shows room for future expansion to add more columbaria east of the flagpoles once the original set fills up.

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