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PSC refuses increased grave marker prices for veterans

CHARLESTON — The Public Service Commission of West Virginia on Thursday shot down a recommendation of its own task force and the funeral industry to increase the price of veterans’ grave markers by 51%.

“The Commission recognizes the sacrifice our veterans and their families have made in the service to our country,” the commission order reads. “In light of this, it is our desire to keep the total charges associated with veterans’ grave markers as economical as possible.

“We will not approve increases in those costs without a strong record,” the PSC said.

The West Virginia Cemetery & Funeral Association had asked the commission in 2022 to increase the marker fees, taking the basic installation cost to $151 from $100; the granite installation to $377 from $250; and the granite purchase installation to $573 from $380.

The commission created a task force to study the matter. That panel found that the various installations of markers had not increased since 2006 and agreed with the industry’s request.

In rejecting the recommendation, the commission concluded: “The requested increases are not adequately supported by the record.”

“It will take much more information than the commission received if we are to further burden these families with additional costs while they are burying their honored dead,” PSC Chair Charlotte Lane said.

More information on this case can be found on the PSC website: Click on “Case Information” and access Case No. 22-0621-VM-GI.