There is ongoing discontent in the burial service industry since the Belize City Council arbitrarily announced that it would be taking over those services. And it is bound to get louder because the cost of providing those services has now increased drastically, in some cases by as much as two hundred percent. And as to the Council’s assertion that it took over the services for the purpose of improving quality, well, judging from the complaints so far, they aren’t living up to that assertion. Earlier today a family expressed outrage at the treatment of their loved one, Roy Sebastian Junior who died on Friday. His funeral was scheduled for today, but despite the family paying the Council the required one thousand, one hundred and seventy-five dollars, everything went downhill from there. The family told us that Sebastian was to be interned in his father’s grave but instead, the Council broke the wrong grave. And if that wasn’t bad enough, when the family notified the Council of the mistake, they again dug into the wrong spot reserved for their mother. David Coye, the proprietor of Coye’s Funeral Home, told us that certainly there is no quality being received for the money being spent.
David Coye, Proprietor, Coye’s Funeral Home
“For a tomb construction and paying the grave space and application fee, from December twenty-first 2012, we used to do that same service for nine hundred and thirty-five dollars. Now it went up five hundred and fifty dollars more; which brought it to one thousand four hundred and seventy-five dollars. The other one at Lord Ridge for eleven seventy-five, we used to do that same service for eight hundred and seventy-five dollars—paying for the grave space and everything. That went up by three hundred dollars more. For the baby space, we used to bury a baby for a hundred and fifty-five dollars. It went up five hundred and twenty dollars more. For the same baby, if they just want the natural ground, they just used to pay thirty dollars. Now it went up two hundred and forty-five dollars more. They are using taxpayers money and it is costing the same taxpayers, far more than what the private sector used to do it for. You do the math. This was thought of the service just to ease our customer not to run around and doing this—taking a burden off them. But a lot of people have their own grave space; they already bought it and when they plan to use it again, they will have to purchase it again for two hundred and seventy-five dollars. That isn’t fair. That isn’t fair.”
“The mayor is saying it is just for quality.”
“The quality that they are talking about is the construction of the tomb or grave, but you all need to go and see the quality work that the City council is doing and compare the other undertakers’ work.”