It's going to cost more for non-city residents to use the city's cemetery.

The City Council has voted to increase the interment fee for non-city residents from $200 to $500, effective immediately.The council discovered that the price of burial in the West Point Cemetery is one of the most inexpensive in Davis County and that this low rate probably coincides with the high occupancy rate in the cemetery.

Many non-residents use relatives or friends to purchase cemetery lots at the resident price of $200, instead of the previous $300 non-resident price, and that maneuver is something that the city can't clearly draw the line on, especially when funerals are such sensitive matters.

Diane R. Moss, city recorder, told the council that she has handled numerous purchases of cemetery lots where she clearly knew or suspected that non-residents were buying lots at the resident price through a relative or friend but that she has never had any firm direction on how to handle these incidents.

The City Council believes that it can now clearly determine at the time of burial if a person is a city resident or not and so that's where a reasonable fee hike can be enforced. The new fees are effective only for new purchases and previous deeds will be honored at the old prices.

Nearby Syracuse City has a combined lot/burial price of $850 for non-city residents, so the council felt justified in increasing its combined rate to $800 to keep the cemetery more available to residents.

The City Council also voted to add an additional $50 fee to the cost of a burial for non-residents on weekends or holidays. The city must pay workers time and a half for such off-hour service and feels it is time for non-residents to pay for this extra cost too, since city residents pay taxes to support these services.

The cost of burial for city residents remains the same at $100 - on weekdays, weekdays or holidays.

The City Council defines a resident as a taxpayer or landowner in the city or any former resident who spent a substantial amount of his or her lifetime in the city before moving away. Any matters of unclear definition of resident as it relates to the cemetery will be decided by the City Council.