Family says cemetery charges excessive fees

San Juan Cemetery

Death can be difficult and expensive, reasons Alex Alaniz and his family bought a family plot at the San Juan Cemetery 23 years ago.

That TMs why I bought 14 plots, because nobody is prepared for tomorrow, Alaniz said.

Alaniz lost his nephew a year ago.

Saturday his family plans to hold a ceremony to honor his nephew's one-year death anniversary.

Although the cemetery sells headstones, Alaniz bought his nephew's headstone from an outside company and planned to have it installed Friday.

Since I didn TMt purchase from these people, they want 10 percent for it to come into the cemetery, Alaniz said.

In addition to 10 percent of the headstone price, Alaniz was told he would have to pay a $50 permit fee and a $200 installation fee.

Alaniz said installation was covered in the cost of the headstone, but the property manager said that doesn TMt waive the fee.

The people of San Juan were not notified and I don TMt think it TMs fair, Alaniz said.

Action 4 asked property manager Lalo Alcuate if the fees were legal and were told they could charge whatever they wanted, but the $50 fee was approved by the attorney general TMs office.

We asked why no notification was given to plot owners about the new fee but Alcuate said he had no way to contact each individual person.

Alcuate also said the fees were reasonable.

They're not enough compared to other cemeteries, Alcaute said.

Alaniz was told he could not bring his nephew's headstone into the cemetery until he pays the fees.

With little time left until the ceremony, paying the fees may be the only option he has.

Not even the dead can rest in peace, Alaniz said. He is my nephew, we are doing this out of our hearts and now to go through this? My God, I think that TMs very wrong.

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