Workers from M & R Monument and W & M Welding and Crane Service installed a new columbarium at Crown Hill Cemetery Monday afternoon.

The 8700-pound unit will be ready for use by next week, according to Cemetery Director Roger Waters.

"This is something we've had in the works for quite some time. It was approved in last year's budget," Waters said.

"This is a 64-niche model columbarium that we have in place. The first two were 32-niche models apiece. This is something a lot of families have been wanting us to have, and we're providing people another option for them to go with," Waters noted.

Five niches have already been sold, Waters said.

Worked gently set the columbarium on a concrete pad that was poured a couple of months ago, then the plastic shrink wrap was removed. The cemetery director said that a sealant would be added around the bottom edge of the columbariun to prevent rain water from seeping in.

The new columbarium sits on the south side of a pond at the cemetery, not far from Engineer. The other two sit across the pond and were installed in 2012 and 2017, respectively.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, cremations rose above 50 percent for the first time in 2016, as opposed to traditional burials. It is now around 53 percent, Waters noted.

For more information, call 826-1562.

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