Long hours of study, meeting and writing were accepted by the Great Bend City Council this week when it approved the proposed amendments to the city’s cemetery rules.
City Administrator Howard Partington explained that the Great Bend Cemetery Board has put in a huge amount of effort to revamp the regulations.
The regulations touch on all sorts of topics, such as how markers are erected, grave placement and much more, including grave decoration.
New language in that section include: “No decorations may be placed on the ground on a grave site prior to noon on the Thursday preceding Memorial Day. All fall and Christmas decorations placed on the grass must be removed prior to March 1 or they will be discarded. Any items left at the grave site must be place on the monument base or it will be removed.”
There are other reason items may be removed, according to the rules. “If anything is placed on or in any lot or grave which shall be deemed offensive, improper or injurious, or which violates any rule, it will be removed without notice.
“Wooden, iron or other crosses, tablets, metal wreaths, baskets, boxes, shepherd’s hooks, solar lights, alcohol, tobacco or miscellaneous objects shall not be left upon graves or lots.
“The city will not be responsible for loss or damage to any portable articles left upon any lot, grave or other part of the cemetery.”
One exception is for veterans markets, the regulations note. “Official metallic tablets or flag holders of veterans organizations, their auxiliaries, non-organizational veterans, lodges, fire departments, and other organizations with restricted membership, provided the table or flag holder is installed within two inches of the monument will be permitted upon a grave.
“The top of the metallic tablet or flag holder should be 15 inches above the foundation or ground level.”
The rules also note that grave sites cannot be fenced in. “Fences, copings, hedges or other enclosures around or within lots or graves will not be allowed.”
And the city staff will continue to keep the cemetery cleared of unsightly objects, the rules note. “Funeral designs and floral pieces will be removed as soon as they become unsightly. Employees will decline to attempt finding them after being so removed.”