Philly archdiocese leasing its 13 cemeteries

    The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia is outsourcing maintenance of its cemeteries in the midst of a budget shortfall.

    The archdiocese announced this week that it will lease its 13 cemeteries to Levittown-based StoneMor Partners LP for a total payment of $89 million over 35 years. There will be an initial upfront payment to the archdiocese of $53 million.

    The archdiocese will retain ownership of the cemeteries, which cover about 2,400 acres in the five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area.

    Leasing the cemeteries is one of several planned restructuring steps that enable the archdiocese to address the $350 million liability it has for pensions, self-insurance and a parish trust fund.

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