Montney residents are looking to expand the local cemetery with the construction of a new columbarium.

Burial plots are limited, while the columbarium can be used to house cremated ashes. George Kantz, president of the Montney Cemetery Committee, says he got the idea after he and his wife Doreen toured other rural cemeteries in the region, such as Groundbirch, Pouce Coupe, Rolla, and Taylor.

“We’ve had inquiries over the years, and we’ve never really thought of it,” said Kantz. “All of these little cemeteries have them, so we thought about it some more and really dug into it. It’s definitely something that would be handy to have here.”

The columbarium would include 48 niches and cost $30,000 to build.

Kantz has approached the Peace River Regional District for a grant in that amount from the rural budget committee. The committee will discuss the matter at its Nov. 19 meeting, and if approved construction could start next spring.

The Montney Cemetery was started in 1935, and houses many pioneers and settlers of the area. Burial plots are in short supply, says Kantz, noting brush was cleared and mulched earlier this summer.

“We’re running out of that too. About half of the cemetery has been developed,” said Kantz.

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