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

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

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

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read