A “CONTENTIOUS” decision to raise fees at a recently-upgraded cemetery for the second time in 12 months will not prevent it from making more financial losses.
Work to extend Mold Cemetery was completed last September, giving it an extra 20-year lifespan by providing 380 more burial plots.
The upgrade work cost £35,000.
But the cost of graves and interment has risen sharply this financial year to stave off the “massive losses” which last year saw half Mold Town Council's precept swallowed by cemetery costs.
Cllr Geoff Collett said while the hike will mean steeper bills for users, it will mean less of a drain on taxpayers in the town as a whole.
“It was quite a contentious decision but the cemetery was making a massive loss,” Cllr Geoff Collett told the Leader.
“The amount we were previously charging barely covered extracting the soil and the refilling – not the 80 years of maintenance necessary.
“It was costing ratepayers in Mold because it accounted for the largest part of the precept paid to Mold Town Council.”
Cllr Collett, a member of the council’s cemetery committee, confirmed the council had researched prices in other parts of Flintshire and Wrexham before nearly doubling the cost of some of Mold's cemetery fees.
Mold residents now have to pay £290 more for a new grave since the February 17 price rise, compared with the rate in April last year.
But the new £1,000 price is dwarfed by the £2,000 price for non-residents – an increase of £580.
Additional interments have seen the heftiest increase however, with Mold residents expected to pay £700 – up £430 on last April.
Non-residents will pay out £1,400, which is £878 more than a year ago.
But Cllr Collett maintains people are still getting a good deal under the new prices.
He said: “The new figures have put the costs up quite considerably. But we pitched our new prices just below that of other cemeteries in the county.
“People are still getting a good deal and we are treating council taxpayers with more respect because it was unfair the cemetery should take up so much of what is paid.”
The rise, ratified in January, was the second to affect the prices in the current financial year.
Cllr Collett added: “I asked for next year’s increases to be brought forward so we can start to claw some of the money back. It still won’t cover all of the costs, but it will certainly prevent Mold council taxpayers from footing the bill.”
The cemetery was opened in 1877 and there have since been some 8,350 interments, including both burials and cremations.