ORDINANCE NO. 2002-43

 

CITY CEMETERY

 

“AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TAYLOR, TEXAS ADOPTING RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE CITY CEMETERY, REPEALING ALL ORDINANCES AND PARTS OF ORDINANCES IN CONFLICT HEREWITH; PROVIDING A SEVERABILITY CLAUSE; AND PROVIDING A REPEALER CLAUSE”

 

            BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF TAYLOR:

 

SECTION 1.0                        PURPOSE

 

The purpose of this ordinance is to establish clear and unambiguous rules and regulations pertaining to the City Cemetery.

 

SECTION 2.0                        DEFINITIONS

 

Words and terms used in this Cemetery Ordinance shall be given the meanings set forth in this Section.  All words not defined shall be given their common, ordinary meanings, as the context may reasonably suggest.  In case of a dispute over the meaning of a term not defined in this Ordinance, or over the application of a definition that is set forth, the City Attorney shall give a written interpretation of such term(s) and application(s).

 

Cemetery - place that is used or intended to be used for interment, and includes a graveyard, burial park, or mausoleum.

 

Cemetery Purpose - a purpose necessary or incidental to establishing, maintaining, managing, operating, improving, or conducting a cemetery, interring remains, or caring for, preserving, and embellishing cemetery property.

 

Funeral Establishment - a place of business used in the care and preparation for interment or transportation of human remains, or any place where one or more persons, either as sole owner, in co-partnership, or through corporate status, are engaged or represent themselves to be engaged in the business of embalming or funeral directing.

 

Grave - a space of ground that is in a burial park and that is used or intended to be used for interment in the ground.

 

Human Remains - the body of a decedent.

 

Interment - the permanent disposition of remains by burial.

 

Interment Right - the right to inter the remains of a decedent in a space.

 

Lot – spaces in a cemetery owned by an individual that is used or intended for use for interment, eight (8) adjoining graves or spaces.

 

Perpetual Care - the maintenance, repair and care of all places in the cemetery.

 

Perpetual Care Cemetery - a cemetery for the benefit of which a perpetual care trust fund is established as provided by State law.

 

Plot Owner - a person:

 

a.       in whose name a space or lot is listed in a cemetery organizations office as the owner of the exclusive right of sepulture; or

 

b.      who holds, from a cemetery organization, a certificate of ownership or other instrument of conveyance of exclusive right of sepulture in a particular space or lot in the organizations cemetery.

 

Remains - either human remains or cremated remains.

 

Sepulture - burial of remains or interment of remains, or a burial place.

 

Sexton, Authority of -:

 

a.          Person in charge of a cemetery who has the same powers, duties, and immunities granted by law to:

 

·           a police officer in the municipality in which the cemetery is located; or

 

·           a constable or sheriff of the county in which the cemetery is located if the cemetery is outside a municipality.

 

b.         A person who is granted authority under Subsection (a) shall maintain order and enforce the cemetery organization’s rules, state law, and municipal ordinances in the cemetery over which that person has charge and near the cemetery as necessary to protect cemetery property.

 

Space - a single grave for burial of remains, but no more then two sets of remains when one set of remains is ashes.

 

Standard Grave – the standard size of a grave in this ordinance is thirty-six (36) inches wide, ninety-six (96) inches long and sixty (60) inches deep.

 

SECTION 3.0                        MANAGEMENT OF THE CEMETERY

 

The City Manager shall have general charge and supervision of the city cemetery and shall have full authority to employ, hire and fire any of said employees that he may deem necessary. The City Manager shall have authority to employ a Sexton who shall have charge of the day-to-day operation of said cemetery under the control and direction of the City Manager. The City Manager shall cause to be kept duplicate records of all lots and spaces sold so that the same can be found and properly identified and he shall see that all maps and plans of the grounds are preserved.

 

SECTION 4.0                        CONVEYANCE OF LOTS AND SPACES

 

All lots and spaces in the city cemetery shall be conveyed to the purchaser by warranty deed duly executed by the Mayor and attested to by the City Clerk with the city seal impressed thereon. Said deed shall contain a provision making said sale subject to the terms and conditions of this ordinance applicable to the cemetery rules the same as if they were written in the ordinance word by word; the said purchaser of the lot or space shall take same subject to the applicable terms and condition of this ordinance.

 

SECTION 5.0                        TRANSFER OR SALE OF LOTS AND SPACES BY GRANTEE

 

Owners of a lot in the city cemetery shall not allow interments to be made in their lot for remuneration nor shall any transfer or assignment or sale of any lots or spaces or an interest therein be valid without the consent in writing of the Mayor of the city of Taylor endorsed upon such transfer or assignment. A fee of ten dollars ($10.00) shall be charged for the making of said transfer.

 

SECTION 6.0                        INTERMENTS AND DISINTERMENTS

 

6.1       No disinterment shall be allowed in the city cemetery except by the written consent of the City Manager upon written order of the owners of said lot. Disinterment shall only be made under the direction of the cemetery authorities and in conformity with state laws. Before any grave in the cemetery is permitted to be opened, a written order shall be required from the owner of said lot or space on which said grave is situated and the same shall only be opened after receiving written permission to open same from the City Manager. No interment of remains shall be made in the city cemetery until the city Sexton has issued a permit. Application for interring a body shall be made to the city Sexton, and he shall issue a permit for such interment, providing such application by proper certificates, as required by state law. In said application for interment there shall be stated the exact location of the lot on which the remains are to be interred and the time that said burial will take place and such evidence, as may be necessary, to show that the owner of said lot or space has consented to the burial of said remains on said lot or space. Application for interment must be made at the Sexton’s office, as follows:

 

  1. When interment is to be made before 1:00 p.m., the application must be made before 3:00 p.m. on the preceding day;

 

  1. When interment is to be made after 1:00 p.m., the application must be made by 9:00 a.m. of the same day.

 

6.2       At the time of making of said application for interments the party making such application shall pay to the Sexton the cost of digging the grave.

 

6.3       In case of disinterment from a single grave or re-interment in spaces of other owners no allowance will be made for the grave vacated and a relinquishment of such grave to the city shall be required before an order is issued for disinterment.

 

6.4       When single graves described in paragraph 6.3 are vacated by disinterment by the view of re-interring in a higher priced grave or space the price originally paid for such grave or space shall be allowed in part payment on the new purchase price, the usual charge for disinterring and interring to be made in both cases.

 

SECTION 7.0                        CHARGES GENERALLY

 

The City Council may from time to time fix the prices at which lots or single spaces may be sold and may from time to time establish fixed charges for digging the graves and other services to be performed by the sexton.

 

7.1       Prices for spaces

 

The price to be paid to the city for one (1) cemetery space in the city cemetery is hereby fixed at four hundred dollars ($400.00). Time payments are allowed at ten percent (10%) interest on balance for one year, eight percent (8/%) for two years, and seven percent (7%) for three years.

 

7.2       Prices for Grave Openings

 

The prices to be paid to the city for opening and closing of a standard size grave in the city cemetery shall depend on the time and date on which the services begin and which charges are as follows:

 

  1. Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., three hundred fifty dollars ($350.00);

 

  1. After 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, four hundred dollars ($400.00);

 

  1. Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, four hundred dollars ($400.00);

 

  1. Opening of a grave for infants and burial of ashes, seventy five dollars ($75.00); and

 

  1. Disinterment Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., five hundred fifty dollars ($550.00).

 

  1. The price for any grave opening larger than the standard size grave will be ($50.00) dollars above standard prices.

 

SECTION 8.0                        CITY CEMETERY FUNDS

 

There are hereby established three funds consisting of the “cemetery operating fund”, “cemetery permanent fund” and the “cemetery land purchase fund” whose uses and sources of revenue are prescribed as follows: 

 

8.1       The “cemetery operating fund” shall be established as an “enterprise fund” and used to finance day-to-day operating expenses of the cemetery including but not limited to payment for services of the sextons, utility costs, capital outlay items, equipment maintenance, grounds maintenance activities and minor improvements for the cemetery as may be needed.  Revenue from all fees and charges for services identified in Section 7.0 with the exception of portions of the principal amounts derived from sale of cemetery spaces as defined below, shall be deposited into and accounted for in the “cemetery operating fund”.  Likewise, all interest or income derived from investment of the balances of any of the three cemetery funds and all rents or lease income derived from cemetery land, shall be deposited for use in the “cemetery operating fund”. Initially 70% of the proceeds from the sale of cemetery spaces shall be allocated to the “cemetery operating fund”. 

 

8.2       The “cemetery permanent fund” shall be established as a “trust and agency fund” and held in trust by the city, subject to control by the City Council. The principal of such fund shall be invested in securities of the same class and character as permitted by the City’s Investment Policy that is adopted annually. Initially 25% of the proceeds from the sale of cemetery spaces shall be allocated to the “cemetery permanent fund”. Revenue and interest received from such cemetery trust fund investments shall be transferred to the cemetery operating fund and devoted to the perpetual care, upkeep, preservation and beautification of the grounds, lots, graves, monuments and markers in the city cemetery.

 

8.3       The ‘cemetery land purchase fund” shall be established as a ‘special revenue fund” and used only for the purchase of additional land for the city cemetery. Initially 5% of the proceeds from the sale of cemetery spaces shall be allocated to the “cemetery land purchase fund”. 

 

8.4       The percentage allocation of amounts derived from the sale of cemetery spaces to each of the authorized funds as set forth herein may be changed by motion of the City Council from time to time. 

 

SECTION 9.0                        PROTECTIVE MEMORIALS OR SLABS

 

Protective memorials or slabs may be placed on owner’s lot in the cemetery, provided such protective memorial or slab, the foundation for same and the supports thereof meet the following requirements:

 

  1. Such protective memorial or slab shall not exceed forty (40) inches in width and ninety (90) inches in length and no part thereof, with the exception of marker thereon or elevated portion with tablet for inscriptions, shall extend more then four (4) inches above the level of the surface of the ground as determined in each instance by the city Sexton. In the event any marker or elevated portion with tablet for inscriptions is embodied in or placed upon such protective memorial or slab, such marker or elevated portion shall not be more then fifteen (15) inches in width, thirty (30) inches in length, four and one-half (4 ½) inches in height on its low side and six (6) inches in height at its highest point, height as used in this sentence meaning height above the main surface of the protective memorial or slab.

 

  1. Such protective memorial or slab shall be set at least one inch in a concrete foundation and such foundation shall extend at least three (3) inches under the full length of both ends and both sides of the protective memorial or slab. Both ends and both sides of the foundation shall not be less then ten (10) inches in width and twelve (12) inches in depth, and shall be reinforced with not less than two (2) half-inch steel rods in each end and shall extend the full length of each end and each side and shall be located two (2) inches from the bottom of the foundation and five (5) inches apart. No part of such foundation shall be less than two (2) inches below the level of the surface of the ground as determined in each instance by the city Sexton.

 

  1. Said foundation shall be supported by six (6) perpendicular concrete piers, one at each corner of the foundation and one in the center of each side of same. Each such pier shall be at least eight (8) inches in diameter, shall extend to a depth of not less than two (2) feet below the bottom of the grave and shall be reinforced with one-half-inch steel rod which shall extend from the bottom of such pier up into the foundation and shall have a hook at its top which hooks over one of the reinforcing rods in the foundation.

 

  1. All concrete used in such foundation and piers supporting same shall be made of Portland cement, washed sand and washed gravel in the following proportions, to wit: One (1) part cement, two (2) parts sand and four (4) parts gravel. No cement shall be poured for such foundation or piers until the forms, reinforcing rods and their placement and security thereof have been inspected and approved by the city Sexton. When the pouring of concrete is commenced, it shall continue without intermission, as near as practicable, until all concrete used in such foundation and piers is poured.

 

SECTION 10.0                        RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR BEAUTIFICATION AND

                        IMPROVEMENTS

 

In the beautification and improvements of the city cemetery the plan as outlined on the maps and plats of the third and fourth additions are made a part hereof shall be followed as far as practical and in order to prevent any interference with said plan of beautification and improvement of said premises the following rules and regulations shall be followed:

 

1.      All lots and spaces shall be maintained on a uniform level and no lot shall be raised or terraced.

 

2.      No lot or space enclosure of any kind whatsoever shall be permitted.

 

3.      No sign or other indication that a lot or space is “For Sale” shall be permitted within the cemetery.

4.      No metallic urns, monuments, headstones or anything of any shape in metal will be permitted upon the lots or spaces in said cemetery except pure bronze, statuary or stone, cement or cement pedestals.

 

5.      Only one monument shall be placed on each lot and said monument shall not exceed six (6) feet in height above the surface of the ground and said monument shall be placed on the center of said lot and shall only be erected when proper foundation is built to support the weight of same; provided, however, in cases of owners owning one-half lots only, a written agreement shall be made between the owners of such one-half lots to the effect that the location shall be in the center of the whole lot. Where there is an underground concrete vault, the owner may place a monument off-center of the lot, subject, however, to the approval of the Sexton.

 

6.      The headstone for graves or any structure to mark a grave shall:

 

a.   In the “Third Addition” of the ‘city cemetery’, and for the “Third Addition” only, not exceed six (6) inches in height above the surface of the ground nor more than fifteen (15) inches in width and must not exceed thirty (30) inches in length for single graves and seventy-eight (78) inches in length where one headstone is to serve for two (2) graves same must be placed upon a foundation as prescribed by the Sexton; 

 

b.         In the “Fourth Addition” of the ‘city cemetery’, and for the “Fourth Addition” only, be flush with the ground and shall not exceed fifteen (15) inches in width and must not exceed thirty (30) inches in length for single graves and seventy-eight (78) inches in length where one headstone is to serve for two (2) graves and same must be placed upon a foundation as prescribed by the Sexton.

 

7.      The footstone for a grave shall not exceed twelve (12) inches in width and twenty-four (24) inches in length and must be installed flush with the ground.  Footstones must be placed on a foundation as prescribed by the Sexton.  Only one footstone shall be allowed per grave site.

 

8.      No steps to lots will be permitted in said cemetery. Stone slabs shall be permitted so long as slabs do not extend or protrude above the natural ground level of the cemetery lot or space in question, being understood that it is necessary from a maintenance standpoint that the city be able to mow over and across any slab without damage to the slab or city equipment.

 

9.      No vaults shall be built entirely or partially above the ground without permission of the City Manager.  All vaults must be furnished with shelves allowing interments to be made and perpetually sealed; all monuments and all parts of vaults above ground shall be marble, bronze, cement or other cut stone.

 

10.  No iron or wirework seats or vases shall be placed on lots or spaces.

 

11.  Before any monument, headstone or marker shall be placed in said cemetery, the person desiring to place same in the cemetery shall submit to the Sexton a description of said monument, headstone or marker and in the event said monument, headstone or marker is in conformity with the rules and regulations herein provided the Sexton shall issue a permit for the erection of said monument, headstone or marker; but in the event that same is not in conformity with the rules and regulations herein described the Sexton shall not issue a permit and said monument, headstone or marker shall not be erected or placed in the cemetery.

 

12.  The erection and placing of all monuments, headstones and markers shall be under the direction and supervision of the Sexton and no monument, headstone or marker shall be placed in the cemetery unless placed upon a proper foundation as prescribed by the Sexton which will be adequate to sustain the weight of a monument, headstone or marker.

 

13.  Owners of the lots or spaces shall not plant flowers, shrubs or trees on said lots or spaces which will interfere with the adjacent lots or avenues or be unsightly or inconvenient to those passing and shall interfere or be contrary to the general scheme of improvements or beautification of the cemetery and shall not plant any flowers, shrubs or trees in the cemetery without receiving a written permit from the Sexton.

 

14.  No workmen or laborers shall be admitted to the cemetery for the purpose of doing any work therein without the permission of the Sexton. All work of every nature done and to be done in said cemetery shall be done under supervision of the Sexton.

 

15.  All work performed in the cemetery by any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity not connected with the city shall be conducted and performed during the hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Saturdays. No work shall be performed by such outside laborers on Saturday afternoons or Sundays or during any other time not expressly authorized herein. It is understood that this shall not apply to the city or its employees, agents or servants.

 

16.  The City Council shall have the right to authorize removal of any monument(s), effigy’s, structures, shrubs, trees or flowers placed in or upon any lot or space in the cemetery which shall be determined by the City Council to be offensive, improper or injurious to the appearance of the surrounding lots or grounds; and in order to remove same, the City Manager shall authorize city staff to enter upon such lots or spaces.

 

SECTION 11.0                        SALE OF SPACES ON TIME AND OTHER FEES

 

The City of Taylor shall sell cemetery spaces on a time payment schedule based upon payments for three months for each space. A ‘contract of sale’ shall be entered into between the City Manager and the purchaser of said cemetery spaces. A fee of fifteen ($15.00) dollars shall be charged for recording of the cemetery deed issued to cover the cost of filing with the Williamson County Clerks Office. 

 

SECTION 12.0                        SEVERABILITY CLAUSE

                       

That if any provision of this ordinance or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid for any reason, the invalidity does not affect any other provisions or applications of this ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this extent the provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable.

 

SECTION 13.0                        REPEALER CLAUSE

 

All other ordinances, parts of ordinances or resolutions in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of any such conflict.

 

SECTION 14.0                        INTRODUCTION

 

In accordance with Article 8, of the City Charter, this ordinance was introduced before the City Council on the 17th day of December, 2002.

 

            PASSED, APPROVED and ADOPTED on the 9th day of January, 2003.

 

 

___________________________-

Jeffrey M. Berger, Mayor

Taylor City Council

ATTEST:

 

_____________________________

Barbara S. Belz, City Clerk