Columbarium installed at Niles Silverbrook Cemetery
Published 9:35 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles is offering a new way for people to store the ashes of their loved ones.
On Tuesday, the city-owned cemetery received its first columbarium — a place used for the storage of cremated remains.
Joe Ray, director of public works, said he’s been pushing for the city to install a columbarium at the cemetery for many years now due to the increasing popularity of the feature being used as a final resting place.
“Cremation is becoming rapidly more popular,” he said. “There is some data out now that the state of Michigan is now 50 percent cremation… they expect that to continue to grow.”
The city council approved purchasing a 48-niche columbarium for the cemetery in July at a cost of approximately $20,000.
Ray said the columbarium, which was placed Tuesday, could be ready for use as early as today.
Once the columbarium is half to three quarters of the way full, Ray said they would look at purchasing another one.
He said the cemetery’s master plan calls for the installation of approximately 60 columbarium structures, but the area in which the first is located has only room for four. It is located along the north side of a creek that runs through the middle of the cemetery. Future columbariums after the first four would be placed at different sites.
Anyone interested in purchasing a niche can contact the cemetery directly or a local funeral home.
Although the cost of a niche and its accompanying marker are still being finalized, Ray said the price would be less expensive than other burial or end of life options.