Oak Bay creates new policy for memorial benches. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay implements new memorial bench policy

District brings in terms, while honouring open-ended commitment to past donors

Memorial benches have been in the spotlight recently after the District of Sooke implemented a new policy, asking donors who already have benches to pay an additional $2,000 to keep it dedicated to their loved one. Sooke cites maintenance costs as the reason behind the change; however, bench owners have complained that they received no notice of the policy change and are upset that their original commitments aren’t being honoured.

Many municipalities are currently facing the issue of how to cover maintenance costs for memorial benches and other memorial park furniture.

Up until recently, Oak Bay didn’t have a memorial bench policy, but after spending three months annually maintaining the park furniture, it became evident that a change was necessary. They are currently implementing a policy that will see terms attached to new memorial furniture going forward, while honouring their open-ended commitment to past donors.

“The new policy will only affect donations going forward. The money for past benches was given in good faith and we will respect and honour our commitment to the families who have given these donations to the municipality,” says Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. “We realize how important it is to families who have had a loved one die, to be able to go to the special memorialized spot that is meaningful to the family.”

Getting a memorial bench requires a $3,000 donation. The new terms for memorial furniture will be 15 years, or 10 years for furniture that is located in an exposed location – while the wood has excellent longevity, the sea salt corrodes the rebar that is used in the cement for support.

Chris Hyde-Lay, Manager of Parks Services, says that Oak Bay is approaching the 300 mark for benches and notes that most of the decent locations are taken. He recommends going with one of the other available options for memorializing a loved one within the municipality: a tree (approx. $500), a picnic table ($3,200), an ornamental flower planter with seasonal rotation of flowers ($3,800), or a water fountain ($7,000). With the new policy, the memorial furniture will be assessed after the 10- or 15-year term is up and a renewal cost will be set based on the condition. There will be no renewal charge for those that already have benches, just those moving forward from today.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Four-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Full vessels create long waits on Friday afternoon

A year in tent city: Timeline of Camp Namegans

Since September 2017, Victoria’s homeless camp has set up in more than 20 locations

‘Repeat test fails’ clogging up the system, says ICBC

Increased driver education key to shorter wait times, safer roads

City of Victoria chooses not to send Vic-Alert surrounding BC ShakeOut

In the event of a real earthquake no alert will be sent

Greater Victoria businesses lose thousands of dollars in credit card scams

Affected businesses want to spread the word to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

Most Read