Plots at cemetery to cost more

First Posted: 4/20/2009

Space at the city-owned Oakdale Cemetery is growing more scarce and also more valuable.
Beginning May 1, the price of a burial plot at the historic graveyard on North Main Street will rise from $1,000 to $1,500, a 50-percent increase.
The new price structure also includes a $50 marking fee for all burials, effective May 1. That charge covers the cost of city personnel meeting at the cemetery with funeral home employees or family members of deceased persons to mark off a burial site, according to Michella Huff, cemetery supervisor.
Meanwhile, the price of a Columbarium niche, or a structure where cremated remains are housed, will remain at $1,000.
The hike in the cost for burial sites was approved last week by members of the Mount Airy Cemetery Commission, to bring the charge more in line with the prevailing market conditions in the area, officials say.
Were still competitive with the local market for cemetery plots, Mayor Jack Loftis said last week when announcing the change to the city commissioners.
This included comparisons with the Pilot Mountain town cemetery as well as Skyline Memory Gardens, another landmark cemetery that is located just south of the city limits.
City officials have said that Oakdale Cemetery, which has some graves dating to the 1800s, is in danger of running out of space in about 10 years at the present sales level unless the facility is expanded. The graveyard basically is landlocked at its existing 22-acre site sandwiched between North Main Street, Old Springs Road and Oakdale Street.
Around 6,500 burial plots have been sold at the cemetery over the years, with about 700 still available at last report. Some 50 to 70 sites are sold annually. Money realized from the sales goes into a perpetual care fund that covers maintenance and other expenses of the facilitys operation.
City leaders have expressed reluctance over trying to acquire extra land for the graveyard, which they envision would be a costly and difficult endeavor, and have discussed changing its layout to maximize space.
A city-appointed board of cemetery trustees oversees Oakdale Cemetery.
Anyone wishing to set up a time to inspect and/or buy a plot should contact Michella Huff at (336) 786-3593.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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