Chestnut Grove Cemetery, a historic cemetery deeded to the Town of Herndon, is poised to increase fees for burials, lots and other services.
As part of ongoing budget discussions for fiscal year 2023, the town is considering increasing fees by between 13.5 and 15% for most lots.
According to staff, that’s partly because of a decrease in the number of burial sites at the property, which was first formally recognized as a cemetery in 1872. The cemetery was deeded to the town in 1997 by the Chestnut Grove Cemetery Association.
The cemetery also needs “additional funding support to maintain enterprise fund operations,” according to a staff memo. The cemetery has roughly 200 traditional sites remaining.
The fee increases come as the town explores possibilities of developing 3.5 acres for more burial sites, according to cemetery manager David Roscue.
“We are currently satisfying the demand and have not had any families choose a different location due to availability issues,” Roscue told FFXnow.
Next year, the town plans to begin design and engineering for more sites at the cemetery, but no formal plans have been made yet, according to Town of Herndon spokesperson Anne Curtis.
Fees for cremation sites are expected to go up by around $300 with similar increases for interments. Fees for the perpetual care of infants and children are not expected to be impacted, according to the draft resolution.
Roscue added that services have generally resumed to normal pre-pandemic operations, noting that the cemetery currently has no limits on the numbers of people attending a graveside service.
If approved, fee changes would go into effect on July 1. The Herndon Town Council was scheduled to discuss the matter at a meeting last night (Tuesday).
Photo via Google Maps
A damaged headstone for a Revolutionary War patriot is being replaced, part of a sweeping effort to preserve cemeteries in Fairfax County.
The headstone for Francis Summers is located in the Summers Family Cemetery in Lincolnia, where the remains of a few dozen people have been buried. A rededication ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. on April 30 at the site, which is located on Lincolnia Road between Deming Avenue and Barnum Lane.
The county, which took over the cemetery in 1989, launched an initiative this year to re-survey and document all non-commercial cemeteries, Aimee Wells, a senior archaeologist with Fairfax County’s Archaeology and Collections Branch, said in an email.
“The Archaeology and Collections Branch is working with their partners at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as well as other public agencies on this survey work, which will take a few years to complete but will be made public when it is finished,” Wells said.
A previous marker identified Summers as a soldier, but he would have been in his 40s when the war started.
“He was actually a patriot, which means he helped out financially,” said Mary Lipsey, a Fairfax County Cemetery Preservation Association director and county History Commission member.
According to Wells, the Summers Family Cemetery project involves a public-private partnership that includes restoration work on iron fences as well as several markers.
Local chapters of the nonprofit Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) have been assisting, contracting a stone conservator to replace the headstone and helping with cleanups at the cemetery, Wells said.
The Sons of the American Revolution provided grant money to the DAR.