Belgrade has four cemeteries: Ellis Cemetery, Quaker Cemetery, Pine Grove Cemetery and Woodside. Pine Grove Cemetery, located along Route 135 between Routes 27 and 8/11, is the only cemetery open for burials.
Belgrade residents can purchase perpetual care lots for $50 per plot through Town Sexton Chris Dutill. A lot consists of four or eight spaces. A single space can accommodate a single full burial or three burials involving cremains. Placement of annual flowers may be purchased for $100 per flower by contacting the sexton and filling out the appropriate form.
Non-residents can purchase a lot for $250 if they meet one of three conditions:
- The non-resident must have been born in Belgrade.
- The non-resident must have blood relatives either living in the community or buried in the cemetery.
- The non-resident owns property and has paid property taxes in the Town for at least 20 years.
Prior to assignment of a burial lot, non-residents or a legal representative must submit to the Selectboard for its review and approval evidence of their bond to the community.
Burials cost $350 for a full burial and $75 for a cremation. This price applies to residents and non-residents.
Placement of items on gravesites is governed by a cemetery ordinance along with rules and regulations.
Prices of cemetery plots and of burials could soon change. At the annual Town Meeting on March 21, Belgrade voters will consider proposed increases recommended by the Town’s Cemetery Committee. The increases may seem steep … until they are put into the context of what other towns charge. The aim of the increases is to generate more earnings to support the care and maintenance of the cemeteries. That reduces the tax burden on Town residents.
For generations, a single cemetery lot has cost $50 for Belgrade residents and $250 for qualifying non-residents. Full burials (casket and vault) have cost $350 and $75 for cremation burials. There has been no extra charge for weekend or holiday burials, which require Town staff to report to work on their days off.
Compare that against other towns:
- Oakland charges $300 for a resident’s single lot and $600 for a non-resident. Full burials cost $400 and cremation burials are $150. Those prices climb to $500 and $250 if a burial is on a weekend or holiday.
- Sidney charges $300 for single lots. Full burials are $500 and cremation burials are $250. Those costs rise to $550 and $300 on holidays and weekends.
- Farmington and Manchester charge $300 for single lots, and $500 for full burials and $300 for cremation burials. On holidays and weekends, both towns charge $600 for full burials; on those days, Manchester charges $400 for cremation burials and Farmington $300.
- Readfield’s pricing is $400 for single lots, $500 for full burials, $300 for cremation burials, and $600 for full burials on weekends and holidays, when cremation burials cost $400.
After studying this data, the Cemetery Committee proposed charging $200 for a single cemetery lot for Belgrade residents and $450 for non-residents. Under the proposal, full burials would cost $450 and cremation burials $150. The committee also proposed weekend and holiday burials increase to $500 for full burials and $250 for cremation burials. The proposal has been endorsed by the Selectboard and the Town’s Budget Committee.
Again, voters will consider these changes in March. The Cemetery Committee, the Selectboard and the Budget Committee firmly believe the proposed increases not only reflect the going rates in neighboring communities, but will raise additional revenue that will serve the cemeteries well for generations to come.