County plots ownership of cemetery

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A longtime church- owned cemetery in Kinuso will soon become property of Big Lakes County.

At its regular meeting Nov. 28, council approved a recommendation by administration to take over the ownership of the Swan Valley Cemetery. The request came from the United Church of Canada, which owned the property and no longer has a presence in the community.

Upon amalgamation of the Swan Valley Cemetery committee by the Kinuso Community Association, council approved the ownership of the cemetery from the United Church to Big Lakes County, as presented by Heather Nanninga, director of corporate services.

Council was initially presented the request at its regular meeting Nov. 14. At the meeting, council directed administration to acquire further information.

“It’s is very good condition, the plot plan is well laid out and followed, it is tidy and orderly,” Nanninga says.

County records also indicate the cemetery is top-ranked when a status of cemeteries was conducted in 2016.

“According to the review, the Swan Valley Cemetery was among the highest-rated cemeteries in the county, scoring 4.5 out of 5,” Nanninga says.

“The committee currently has copies of the plot plan and records of the deceased.”

The community association has recently assisted in maintenance of the cemetery south of Kinuso.

The United Church of Canada building and manse in Kinuso were sold on Aug. 1, 2018, states a letter from Erin White, property convenor and treasurer of the Yellowhead Presbytery.

“With the sale of this property, our presence in the Hamlet of Kinuso ended, and with it, the community’s formal relationship with the Swan Valley Cemetery,” White says.

The United Church of Canada has no formal policy in place on what to do with cemeteries in communities where no congregation is located, she adds.


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