Dixfield selectmen set public hearing to discuss cemetery lot prices

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DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen agreed Monday evening to schedule a public hearing for Monday, Dec. 22, to discuss whether to raise the price of cemetery lots.

Town Manager Carlo Puiia told selectmen the town charges $200 per lot.

“I asked our sexton, Todd Piper, to look at a couple of cemeteries in the surrounding area to see what they’re charging for lots and how it compares to us,” Puiia said. “According to the sexton, Farrington Cemetery in Mexico charges $400 per lot, St. John’s Cemetery in Rumford charges $550 per lot, and Demeritt Cemetery in Peru charges $250.”

Puiia said the sexton recommended charging $300.

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Half of that, he said, would go toward opening and closing, and the other $150 would be for perpetual care.

“It would cost double that for a double lot, and the price would increase accordingly for more lots,” he said.

Selectman Hart Daley asked Puiia if the cost would be grandfathered for people who had purchased lots in the past.

“If you own a lot already, then you’re all set,” Puiia said. “This would be for the people who come in to purchase a new lot now.”

Selectman Mac Gill told Puiia and the board that in many cemeteries, there are “a lot of empty spaces not being used.”

“What are the laws that govern that sort of thing?” Gill asked.

Puiia said he has found there are “a lot of lots that people buy for their families and never end up using.

“We try to manage it the best we can,” he said. “The biggest thing you can do is manage the maintenance and care of the cemetery, as well as the funds.”

Gill said the situation should be looked at.

In other business, selectmen voted 4-0 to approve a municipal quitclaim deed for a tax-acquired property that the former owner has redeemed by paying the amount owed.

The public hearing will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Ludden Memorial Library.

 mdaigle@sunjournal.com

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