New rules set in stone for tombstone builders

The religious council of Beersheba has decided to tighten the lid on the city's tombstone builders, requiring them to obtain special licenses and to pay a fee of NIS 75 for each tombstone they build, reports The council said it had reached the decision in an effort to create order and to make tombstone builders accountable for breaches of regulations, materials used or damage done during the course of their work. According to the report, the council's decision follows the recent completion of work to the city's new cemetery, which has now been fenced off and has had gates installed. The report said a security guard would soon be placed at the entrance, who would not only ensure the safety of visitors and prevent vandalism and thefts, but would also enforce the collection of fees from tombstone builders. A religious council spokesman said the council had decided to license tombstone builders to create order, because they often breached regulations on the size or appearance of tombstones and caused a lack of uniformity. The report also said that in doing their work, tombstone builders used the city's water and sand and sometimes caused damage, and that the city then had to pay for repairs. The spokesman said that a tombstone builder who did not obtain a license and did not pay NIS 75 per tombstone would not be allowed to work in the cemetery. He said builders were not permitted to charge the fee to the person who had ordered the tombstone.