Town unearths $60,000 for Point Abino skeletons

Times Staff

The Town of Fort Erie has approved costs related to the investigation, exhumation and reinterment of the human remains found on Point Abino Road last month.

The local government approved a staff report on Tuesday night to amend the 2010 operating budget and pull $60,000 from the emergency management reserve fund to the cemeteries operating budget.

On August 10, a contractor for Enbridge Gas discovered human remains while digging along Point Abino Road, near the Bertie Boat Club, south of Erie Road.

They put a halt to the gas line installation and contacted the Niagara Regional Police, who managed the site until it was determined to be a burial ground.

In total, ten skeletons were unearthed over the course of about three weeks.

The Ontario Cemeteries Act provides the registrar with the authority to order the investigation of the site to be conducted by a licensed archaeologist. The registrar then makes a declaration about the nature of the site and orders the landowner to work with representatives of those buried in the site to enter into a disposition agreement, whereby the remains can be re-intered into a cemetery.

The legislation specifies that expenses related to the investigation, exhumation and subsequent re-interment are the responsibility of the landowner.

Since the Town is responsible for the road and utilities, it also takes on financial responsibility for the archaeological investigation, exhumation and re-interment expenses.

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