Friday, August 28, 2009
A new law in Connecticut that takes effect on Oct. 1 will allow municipalities to take over abandoned or neglected cemeteries. The measure has come about largely as a result of the town clerk of Easton, Derek Buckley, who told legislators about local efforts to take care of cemeteries.
Phillip Bigler, author of a respected book on Arlington National Cemetery, "In Honored Glory," was interviewed today (Aug. 28, 2009), on the public radio program "Here & Now." He talked about the cemetery in the wake of news that Sen. Ted Kennedy will be buried there, beside his brothers.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Officials in McCleary, Washington, are considering a measure to create a Cemetery Capital Improvement Plan and use some of the local real estate excise tax for cemetery maintenance and possible expansion.
Officials in Belleville, Illinois, are working on ways to solve a problem of potential embezzlement of prepaid funeral funds, volunteers are making sure that the Mount Hope Cemetery still looks good.
Folks in Meriden, Connecticut, performed their due diligence in cleaning up a cemetery, mapping and surveying, and what they discovered were a couple of problems: a town-owned paved road that leads to some houses actually is a cemetery access road, and a neighbor's fence is actually about 10 feet onto cemetery property.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Government officials in Marietta, Ohio, are trying to figure out how to pay for a fence repair at a cemetery, at a cost of $168,000 or more, even up to a half-million dollars. This is another instance that many folks don't realize cemeteries and government operations sometimes cross paths.
The Baltimore Sun's gardening blog sent me to this story in the Christian Science Monitor that details how a small town near London, England, is using every available plot of land for gardening, including a cemetery.
Here's an excerpt from a report on action by the Corpus Christi council to acquire land for a veterans cemetery:
- approved the annexation of about 55 acres near the intersection of Carbon
Plant Road and Interstate 37 for a veterans’ cemetery. The land annexation is a
step needed before the land can become a cemetery. The cemetery will have space
for 4,500 burial plots during its first phase of construction, which state
officials have said will take about 10 years to fill. After the Texas Veterans
Land Board completes the cemetery’s site plan, it will ask the U.S. Department
of Veterans Affairs for $9.3 million for the project. It is expected to take
about 18 months to build.
The city council and county officials are struggling with how to transfer operation of a cemetery whose operator was jailed for fraud. Eddy County originally proposed buying the cemetery, but now it appears that the city will do so. The sides are working out funding arrangements.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Residents of a condo complex in the Lower Hudson Valley are upset that a planned cemetery expansion would creep closer to their property. The dispute goes beyond the usual not-in-my-backyard fray; the cemetery claims that part of the complex parking area is actually built on cemetery land. Condo-complex owners say they've maintained that part of the property for about 10 years - and also allege that a loss of trees because of the expansion would cause drainage problems (ed. note: as if an impervious surface does not).
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Here's a link to the transcript of the conference regarding SCI, the nation's largest death-care provider. Page 3 of the transcript talks about cemetery earnings.
A historic burial ground, Old North Cemetery - which, ironically, includes the grave of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (think, Central Park) - is falling into disrepair, along with other parks in the town.
Here's a bit from a news article about the Fostoria city council, which is considering a measure to open an entrance at a local cemetery:
In other news, a controversial ordinance that would force the city to
reopen the Summit Street entrance to a local cemetery was given its second
Department head Felix Gonzalez previously had visited council and
reported damage done to headstones by careless drivers using the cemetery, as
well as illegal drug and alcohol activity by area teens.
Mayor Davoli said
the cemetery is not a throughway.
Sandra Munsey of Mount Vernon Drive
reminded council a petition was submitted to have the entrance reopened.
After more than a year of negotiations, the Southampton Town Trustees said no to swapping a plot of land owned by the Westhampton Cemetery Association for a town-owned lot next to the historic burial ground. The cemetery is running out of room, but the land eyed for expansion consists of wetlands. Without expansion, the cemetery will close once its final 30 plots are used, and the town will take over maintenance.
Monday, August 3, 2009
In the wake of the Burr Oak case in Illinois, ABC News has a report on the problems with cemetery management. Again, not really the domain of this blog, but there are ripple effects to cemetery mismanagement that do affect cemeteries and land use.