The private cemetery Parque Martinelli claimed that a new ordinance project of the Municipality of Canelones will make the entrance to the necropolis more expensive, while the increase in the fees charged by the commune may cause Montevidean residents to finally opt for the cemeteries From the capital.
The Yamandú Orsi administration proposes, broadly speaking, to create a concession regime that implies that public calls for service management have to be made every 30 years. The new articles would also double from 3% to 6% the percentage that the mayor receives for each plot contracted by clients.
As reported The Observer, the Parque del Recuerdo attacked the project last week, considering it a “legal excess” for pretending to act – and even bid in the event of a unilateral termination of the current concession – on land that is privately owned by cemeteries. This time it was the turn of the Martinelli Park –which together with the Fresnos de Carrasco complete the list of three landscaped cemeteries in the department– to make its discomfort known to the Legislation Commission of the Departmental Board.
The company agreed with Parque del Recuerdo that the new concession regime for private individuals provided for by the Orsi administration is “unconstitutional”, given that the 23 hectares of gardens are owned by the Martinelli SA Concessionaire, and not a transfer from the commune canary. For this reason they also criticized that the ordinance opens the door to unilaterally terminate the concessions, being able to open a new tender to define who will provide the service from now on.
On the other hand, they pointed out the fact that “rates and tariffs are set at double those charged by municipal cemeteries,” according to the document accessed by El Observador and signed by María Martinelli, head of the company. The company recalled that the rates imply “by definition” an obligation for the effective consideration of a service by the State.
“In municipal cemeteries they refer to rates because the municipality provides a public service; Now, in the case of private cemeteries, where the activity is carried out on location and with personnel from a private company, the regulations say that they must pay twice as much as municipal ones. This is not a rate, it does not explain why families should pay twice as much”, Martinelli stated.
The company pointed out against the increase in the percentage that the commune receives for the prices charged in the Park. Martinelli detailed as an example that the placement of tombstones on the lawn of the plot generates an income of $2,544 for the mayor, while the re-engraving on the tombstone leaves him $999. “These activities in the municipal cemetery are carried out by personnel from the municipal necropolis and with municipal inputs, in the case of private cemeteries they are carried out by the concessionaire”, he recalled.
From Parque Martinelli they maintained: “If we take into account that these fees are paid by families that decide to purchase plots in private parked cemeteries and that many of the families that do so are from Montevideo, it is possible that they begin to opt for solutions in Montevideo that be more convenient.” They indicated that “families today pay 3% for being assignees of a plot to the mayor’s office” and that they will now pay 6%.
From the Intendancy they assure that the activity of the landscaped cemeteries is a “public service” that the departmental government must regulate. The director of Administration, Pedro Irigoin, had declared to El Observador that “a lot of time has passed and we must update” the percentages to be collected.