Since Bashaw council’s decision last month to deny a request to store urns in the cemetery vault, there has been some significant public outrage over the issue.
In an effort to better clarify town’s reasons for taking its position, Fuller provided Bashaw Star with some further information on the issue.
Fuller explained that as the owner and operator of the cemetery, the town doesn’t believe its role should be to store remains inside the underground vault at its own risk and feels the request to have them ‘interned’ or buried was misrepresented.
“If the urns were to be stored in the vault and then something happened to them, the town would likely be responsible,” she said, something council felt would be an unreasonable risk to take.
The request originally came from Marlon Wombold, of Bashaw Funeral Home, who eventually secured an agreement with the City of Wetaskiwin to use its mausoleum for the 42 urns.
“I’m glad for these people and their families as we now have a safe place to store them and they are retrievable,” he said.
He remains disappointed with the Town of Bashaw over how the situation was handled, as he was never contacted about the initial decision.
With the selection of a new council last month, it was decided to use the Nov. 2 council meeting to take a good look at many of the town’s operations instead of going through a regular agenda.
Mayor Penny Shantz, along with councillors Darren Pearson, Rosella Peterman, Lynn Schultz and new councillor Rob McDonald were accompanied by several staff on the tour. Town foreman Murray Holroyd plus CAO Theresa Fuller also provided some explanations at many of the facilities.
“Some on council have never been inside a few of these facilities and it certainly helped refresh everyone’s minds about how our town operates and what our facilities look like,” explained Shantz. “It provided a clearer picture of staff are talking to us about during council meetings. The more knowledge we have, the better decisions we will be able to make.”