Livermore determining ownership of cemeteries

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LIVERMORE — Administrative Assistant Amy Byron is researching the two dozen cemeteries in town to determine their ownership and checking cemetery policies from other towns.

The move comes after selectpersons recently heard complaints that some plantings and items around graves make it difficult for Robert Martin to mow town graveyards. The board was shown pictures of trees, benches, plastic flowers and beer cans that can block stones or blow away.

The town passed a cemetery policy in 2011 that governs monuments, markers, decorations and plantings, and who has authority over the grounds. Copies will be provided to lot purchasers.

Major provisions of the policy include:

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• Monuments and individual headstones are permitted.

• Monuments, markers or other structures on a lot above ground must be made of cut marble, granite, natural stone or real bronze.

 • The owner of any lot has the right to erect any proper stone or monument. Only one monument is permitted on a lot and it must be in the center or center rear, unless special permission is granted by the superintendent to place it elsewhere.

• Only one marker is permitted per grave.

• Cornerstones are required.

• Boxes, shells, toys, ornaments, chairs, settees or similar items are not permitted on lots and the cemetery superintendent reserves the right to remove them.

• No individual beds of shrubbery or trees are permitted on cemetery grounds.

• All plantings should be contained in pots made of clay, ceramic or other durable material. The town is not responsible for any flowers planted in the ground that may be damaged in the course of routine maintenance.

• The sexton has the right to remove all floral designs, flowers, weeds, trees, shrubs, plants or herbage of any kind when they become unsightly, dangerous, detrimental, or diseased, or when they do not conform to cemetery standards.

• The sexton has the right to remove vases or urns not properly painted or otherwise cared for or not filled with plants by June 30. Artificial flowers that are faded or otherwise deteriorated may also be removed at the sexton’s discretion.

• The superintendent and authorized representatives are empowered to enforce the cemetery rules and regulations and can exclude from any or all cemeteries any person deliberately violating them.

• The superintendent and authorized representatives have charge of cemetery grounds and buildings, employees and all persons visiting the cemetery, whether lot owners or others.

Lew Lyman is the town sexton and Tim Cox is chairman of the Cemetery Committee.

 pharnden@sunmediagroup.net

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