Archdiocese Leasing Of Cemeteries To Be Subject Of Court Hearing Monday

By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–The proposal by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to sign a long-term lease with a Levittown, Pa. company to manage 13 cemeteries will be subject of a court hearing on Monday.

The archdiocese wants to lease its 13 cemeteries to StoneMor Partners LP under an arrangement which would net $89 million, paid over a 35-year period.

The total length of the lease between the two parties is 60 years (see related story).

The deal requires an up-front payment of $53 million.

On Monday, Judge John Herron will conduct a hearing during which he will consider the arrangement and hear any objections brought by any parties.

Ken Gavin, a spokesman for the archdiocese, says the judge had initially set a hearing for mid-December but postponed it and directed the archdiocese to widely publicize the plan.

“We’ve reached out to all of the 230-plus parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and we asked that our pastors reference the hearing date, post information about that hearing, and make copies available to their parishioners in a way that they thought might be most efficient,” Gavin tells KYW Newsradio.

The proposal is also posted on the archdiocese web site.

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