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

Launch party for Vancouver Island’s new soccer team a success

Over 3,000 seats will be added to Westhills Stadium in the next 6 months

View Royal Park sign taken down after glitch redirects to pornographic website

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Saanich pedestrian incidents reflect recent trends

76% of crashes involving pedestrians happen at intersections

Two people rescued after falling from lifeboat at Ogden Point

Crew members of the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship fell into the water Thursday night

Online blasting video helps ease Sooke residents concerns

Complaints of dust ongoing since 2017

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

Big-time racing on tap in Langford this month

Western Speedway the place to be for a roaring good time in summer

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

ZONE 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Most Read