Billings cemetery board recommends closing Kagawong Cedars Cemetery

KAGAWONG—At the February 4 Billings council meeting, cemetery board representative Sandi Hurcomb brought forward a recommendation from fellow members which may lead to the closing of the Kagawong Cedars Cemetery.

Recent concerns brought forward by at least two community members prompted the option to be considered.

Ms. Hurcomb informed members of council that it is “not uncommon to find it (a cemetery plot) is previously occupied. We would like to recommend that the cemetery be closed.”

Township office records show there are approximately 160 plots available, however the problem is it is “more and more difficult to tell them where they will be laid to rest.”

“In order to avoid further emotional upheaval, it is best to close it down and consider other options in the future,” advised Ms. Hurcomb.

Councillor Tom Imrie suggested the township consider applying for a grant to purchase ground penetrating radar equipment. The device resembles a shopping cart that rolls along the ground to determine if there is anything buried beneath. It would act like an x-ray machine.

“It is impossible to say who’s where and when they got there,” stated Ms Hurcomb.

Mr. Imrie stated, “There are so many things to be investigated.”

Mayor Aus Hunt advised council “it is quite a process (to close a cemetery). The government has to be advised and there will be an investigation.”

Ms. Hurcomb said, “None of us want to see someone go through a difficult time. The only way to guarantee it is to start again.”

Mr. Imrie, who represents council on the museum board, offered to look into the possibility of partnering with the cemetery board for grant applications.

Ms. Hurcomb admitted she did “not have a clue where to start.”

It was decided Mr. Imrie would contact Old Mill Heritage Museum curator Rick Nelson to request he do some research into the grant application process.

Sharon Jackson