(KCPW News) Apparently, no business sector can escape high gas prices — not even the cemetery business. T.J. Tsakalos with the Salt Lake County District Attorney's office estimates that the price of burying or cremating the remains of indigent residents has quadrupled in recent years.
"It's affected both burial and cremation because the mortuaries have increased their costs dramatically, so they've passed those on to the county and the taxpayers. It's affected everything, including the disposition of human remains," he said.
Today, the Salt Lake County Council will discuss a revision to the county's ordinance regarding how to dispose of indigent residents who have died. The county's preferred method is cremation, but under the current ordinance, families could be provided with a burial plot if they objected to that method. But, now the county will only pay for cremation.
"If a family's absolutely insisting, and they want to take over the cost of the service, they certainly can do that, we would not stand in their way if they want to make private arrangements for either burial or a different disposition, but the county will only front the cost of cremation," said Tsakalos.
Tsakalos says the county pays to dispose of hundreds of bodies each year, paying several hundred dollars for each cremation, and more than that for burials.