A columbarium is a structure used to store and often display urns containing cremated remains.
The city previously purchased two columbarium units at the St. Augustine Cemetery and one at the Public Cemetery. One columbarium at St. Augustine cemetery has been completely sold and there are currently 31 niches remaining for sale in the second columbarium.
Mayor Michael Behiel called it an “ongoing shift.”
“As Councillor [Rob] Muench said, that when he was on council years ago and they bought the very first one they struggled with it wondering if it was a wise investment,” Behiel said.
“Not only are we seeing it is a wise investment that we’re increasing this, but the demand for that type of service has increased. It’s simply a shift to an ever-changing world to try to address the newer desires of the people and ensuring that we keep the cemeteries upkept and keep the space available for generations to come.”
The 60-niche columbarium unit from Nelson Granite will be funded from the city’s cemetery reserve and installed in St. Augustine Cemetery.
In their report to council administration said that they expect to be able to add an additional six identical units, as well as a large square unit in the middle. In total, they estimated that over time the city will be able to increase their current inventory of 120 niches to over 600.
The current niches are expected to last through 2022. A four month delay is expected on the new columbarium.