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REPORTING · 29th November 2013
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council received a presentation on perhaps putting in a Crematorium into the Animal Shelter on Monday, November 25th at their Committee of the Whole Meeting.

A memo to Council lists the estimated cost of the crematorium is $60,000. This does not include installation fees. The estimated annual revenues are $30,000. The Estimated costs are $40,000.

Maryanne Ouelet and Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen presented to Council, Waycheshen presenting an overview.

“Earlier this year, Maryanne and I did go to Terrace to take a look at the Crematorium to get a feel for the expense because we know this has been an issue that has been raised at times,” said Waycheshen. “Then we came back and took a look at our facility and some of the costs that would be incurred.”

He expressed there were some costs which they would not be able to quantify into the costs. Instead, they asked if they could quantify the need for a crematorium. They looked at other crematoriums around the region as well.

Waycheshen explained the Terrace Animal Shelter was going through a curing process and was hoping to have their crematorium up next week. Their biggest cost every year is Natural gas, which makes up 95% of the cost of running their crematorium. The rest of the cost is made of break downs which occur due to the extreme heat of the crematorium. Because of the cost of using them, they usually are not put to use without an ‘inventory.’

The estimated annual revenues are $25,000. This does not include $5000 which Council put aside to transfer animals to Terrace for cremation. They figure there is going to be a shortfall every year for a crematorium. However, there will be some capital costs. This includes a sprinkler system because there is not enough water provided to the building to sustain a sprinkler system.

Waycheshen explained because the highest cost is for the natural gas, some of the LNG plants plan to reduce the cost of LNG to the public. There could also be some plans to tap into the water going to one of the LNG sites rather than drill a well.

“There might be a chance for revisiting this in the future to make it profitable, but at this time, we think it would be a really, really tough go just with the fact that you have a really small population of about 8000 trying to fund one of these, and what we’ve seen from looking from outside the lower mainland is, you don’t see them in an area this size where you don’t have an area to draw from,” said Waycheshen.

Council had some questions. Acting Mayor Edwin Empinado asked why the Terrace Crematorium was down. He was told it had to be relined and they were cooking it again.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked what was driving the need for a crematorium in Kitimat. Ouelet explained it was because the Terrace crematorium was down during the time it was needed. They are storing ‘inventory’ in freezers right now. Currently, people who don’t want to wait are shipping to Prince George.

Waycheshen stated eventually, these furnaces need to be completely rebuilt, so they are brand new. In this case, Kitimat will experience shut downs as well. It is one of the problems with owning one.

Councillor Phil Germuth made a motion, based on the added costs, to have staff stop investigating the installation of the animal crematorium. It was seconded, however, Feldhoff made a referral motion to refer the crematorium to full council. Both Mayor Joanne Monaghan and Councillor Mary Murphy could not be at the meeting. The motion idea had been suggested by Murphy.

“I’m kind of sitting on the fence on this one in terms of gaining additional information and I’m not sure if I agree with what Councillor Germuth is saying. I think it’s important that we allow Councillor Murphy in particular to speak to this matter by referring the motion, it gives her an opportunity to provide input before we get to far down and close the door on [it],” said Feldhoff.

The rest of Council agreed. Germuth agreed out of the spirit of fairness, although he added it will not change his mind.

The motion to delay the motion was called and carried.
Good report by adm.
Comment by Larry Walker on 29th November 2013
Well thought out report back to council. Frankly I am impressed. Suggest you revisit this issue again next year as things are changing around Kitimat.

Again Good Report.