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Posted on: October 14, 2022

CITY OF TAYLOR CLARIFIES CEMETERY RULES AND REGULATIONS

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The City of Taylor recently clarified the rules and regulations for the decoration of gravesites in the Taylor City Cemetery, reminding residents about items that are and are not permitted, and the City’s policies for removing items that are in violation of their rules and regulations. In January of this year the Cemetery Department discussed the appearance and safety of the cemetery with City Council and Council determined that the Department should begin strictly enforcing all Rules and Regulations for the cemetery. 

In the notice, which was posted on the City’s website and at the Cemetery office, the City emphasized that when a resident purchases a cemetery plot in the public cemetery, the deed is subject to the ordinances of the City. The Cemetery Ordinance (City Ordinance, Chapter 6) and the Rules for Beautification and Improvement are public record and are available on the City’s website. The Rules and Regulations are provided to plot owners when they purchase a space and when they arrange a burial through a local funeral home. 

The Rules and Regulations are provided to plot owners when they purchase a space and when they arrange a burial through a local funeral home. The updated Rules for Beautification and Improvement were presented to City Council in a public meeting on April 14, 2022, and approved on April 28, 2022. The revised rules clarify which items are and are not allowed, and reiterate the process for removing items, which is as follows: 

  • As time allows throughout the year, staff methodically and impartially checks the plot sites, moving from one block to the next, ensuring that each site is neat and tidy and that the items on the graves do not violate the Rules and Regulations. 
  • If there is a site with items that do violate the rules, staff will place a notice on the site and send a letter by mail to the plot owner notifying them of the violation and asking them to remove the items promptly if there is contact information available. 
  • If plot owners do not remove the items within 30 days of the notice, cemetery staff will remove the items in question and hold them for the plot owners to pick up during business hours at the cemetery office. 
  • If plot owners do not pick up the items within 30 days of removal, cemetery staff will dispose of them. 
  • There are no fines for violations, and violations do not go on the record of the plot owner.

In addition to being provided to plot owners are also given to the local funeral homes and posted at the Cemetery office. Staff may not have contact information for all the plots at the cemetery, and they encourage residents who own plots that may be older or were purchased by a different family member to please contact the office to update the information on file. 

The City also reminds residents that while the plots are inspected impartially throughout the year, the City does have a limited staff available to do inspections, and there may be times when there are items in violation of the rules on a gravesite, but the plot owners have not yet been notified to remove them. 

Public Works Director Jim Gray explained that reinforcing the rules is ultimately a sign of respect for the Taylor residents who are interred in the cemetery and for the families who visit their graves. “We understand that the gravesites in the Taylor Cemetery are an important place for people to remember their loved ones, and that the items they place on the graves are important mementos. Because this is a public cemetery that is available for all Taylor residents, it is important that it be kept as tidy and neat as possible, which is why the rules and regulations were written long ago. Earlier this year it became necessary to start enforcing the rules more strictly because the number and size of the items made it impossible for limited staff to keep the cemetery tidy. We want to be respectful to the residents who are interred in our cemetery and ensure that their final resting place is well kept.” 

If residents have a question as to what items are and are not allowed on gravesites, or if they need to update the contact information on file for their loved one’s plot, they are asked to call 512-352-3531 to speak to the Cemetery Sexton.

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