Niles mulls adding columbarium to Silverbrook Cemetery
Published 9:37am Thursday, June 11, 2015
Niles officials are discussing the possibility of installing a columbarium at Silverbrook Cemetery.
A columbarium is a place for storing a deceased person’s cremated remains.
The city-owned cemetery currently does not have a columbarium — a feature city officials and one funeral industry leader say is becoming more and more popular.
At Monday’s meeting of the Niles City Council, Ted Halbritter, owner of Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles, spoke in favor of placing a columbarium feature at Silverbrook.
He said cremation accounts for about 40 percent of final dispositions in Michigan and he expects that number to continue to rise.
“There definitely is an increase in cremation rates,” he said. “I would lend my support tothis project.”
Joe Ray, the city’s director of public works, said other area cemeteries in Buchanan, Berrien Springs and St. Joseph have had success installing columbariums.
He said it would cost about $20,000 to put in the first columbarium and that the city could make about $30,000 if it is filled.
If the project works, Ray said the city could install more.
The feature would be located along the north side of the creek that runs through the middle of the cemetery.
The council is expected to take action on the columbarium at its next meeting June 22.