Langley eyes fees for green burials

The first reading of a proposed new fee schedule to include green burials at the city cemetery will occupy the Langley City Council at its meeting next week.

The council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at city hall on Second Street.

The city’s Cemetery Board came up with a suggested price for the new green-burial plots at Langley Woodman Cemetery.

The cemetery has set aside 48 plots for green burials, which are done without cement grave liners or embalming, and involve biodegradable caskets or sheaths.

There are only 11 other certified green-burial sites in the United States, two of them in Washington state, at Burlington and in Eastern Washington, said Debbie Mahler, city finance director.

Each green-burial site at Woodman Cemetery is 6 feet by 10 feet, compared to the standard 4 feet by 8 feet, and requires more space so maintenance vehicles don’t drive over the graves, risking the chance of a collapse.

The Cemetery Board recommends charging $1,200 per plot, with an additional maintenance fee of $400.

Because there have been several requests from off-island residents for the green-burial plots, a six-month pre-sale price for local residents of $1,000 plus $400 maintenance also is recommended, Mahler said.

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