MANTI—The Manti City Council has agreed to look into installing a “columbarium,” a structure holding cremated remains, in the city cemetery.
At a meeting on Jan. 19, Councilwoman Mary Wintch, whose council responsibilities include oversight of the cemetery, said the cemetery currently has about one burial per week.
At the current rate, the cemetery will run out of lots in 50 years, she said. The city has calculated that building a new cemetery would cost as much as the Manti City Sports Park, which cost about $4 million.
“By the time the cemetery runs out of space, we’ll probably all be down there,” Wintch said. Nonetheless, she said, it makes sense for the city to do what it can to slow down consumption of cemetery space.
Presently, a family wanting to place an urn containing cremated remains has to purchase a regular cemetery lot.
Wintch said the St. George and Provo city cemeteries have both installed columbaria. Officials in Provo told her one-third of their interments are now cremations.
Prices of columbaria vary widely, Wintch said. One company that imports the structure from China said a 48-unit structure would cost $14,000. A U.S. company estimated the cost of a 48-niche columbarium at $27,000, while a different U.S. company gave an estimate of $55,000 for a 100-unit structure.
“The longer you wait, the more expensive it’s going to be,” she said.
Councilman Jason Vernon said he liked the designs Wintch handed out to council members and added that such a structure “could add to the cemetery” as well as accommodate families who choose cremation.