Minutes of the Bethany Cemetery Commission
Regular Meeting on December 15, 2014
A regular meeting of the Bethany Cemetery Commission was held in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room of the Bethany Town Hall on Monday, December 15, 2014. In attendance were: Will Brinton ~ Chairman, Carol Goldberg, Mary Ehrler and Kris Sullivan. Steven Thornquist arrived after the meeting had started. There are two vacancies on the Commission.
The meeting was called to order at 7:50 p.m. by the Chairman.
Approval of Minutes
The draft minutes of the Commission’s regular meeting held on November 17, 2014 were read.
Action on those minutes was then taken as follows:
- It was moved by Goldberg and seconded by Erhler to approve the minutes of the November 17, 2014 regular meeting of the Commission as submitted .
In favor: Brinton, Sullivan, Goldberg and Ehrler.
Carrington Cemetery ~ Ground Penetrating Radar Survey Update
The Chairman reported that the Board of Selectmen had approved the Commission’s recommendation to engage the firm of GeoModel Inc. to conduct a ground penetrating radar survey of the Carrington Cemetery on Rainbow Road.
After that approval was given, the firm had been contacted and the survey completed in one day. Currently, the Town engineering firm of Nafis and Young are in the process of completing the GIS mapping of the radar survey markings. That survey should be completed prior to the Commission’s next regular meeting by which time a composite map of the cemetery plots, actual burial sites and monuments should be available for the Commission’s review, discussion and appropriate action.
Carrington Cemetery ~ Hedge/Fence Discussion with Selectmen
The Chairman reported that he had discussed with the Board of Selectmen the Commission’s recommendation that the Town Road Crew remove some of the hedge (+ 10 feet) on the western side of the east entrance to the cemetery (the entrance closest to Carrington Road (Route 69), and relocation of the “Carrington Cemetery” stone to where the hedges are removed for better visibility of that stone, and to prevent vehicles from making too wide a turn into the cemetery and hitting any of the older gravestones in that area.
Before taking any action, the members of the Board of Selectmen determined that they wanted to do a site visit to view the site line issue. In discussion, Commission members noted that if the date of the Selectmen’s site visit was known, that they could attend to answer any questions the Selectmen might have.
Carrington Cemetery ~ Records Research
The Chairman reported that he had distributed the draft “receipt” that the Commission had reviewed and proposed for use for the purchase of a cemetery plots to the Board of Selectmen. At that time he was told that receipts had been being issued for the sale of plots.
A request will be made for copies of those receipts so that a list of plots sold can be generated and used in conjunction with the site plan being prepared by Nafis and Young with the goal of having deeds issued for those plot sales which have not had deeds issued.
In a separate but related issue, the Chairman reported that when meeting with the Board of Selectmen he had been told that there was a fund balance of + $21000.00 in the Carrington Cemetary (sic) Fund Account with the Connecticut State Treasurer’s Office. That balance was not what the Commission members believed the fund balance should be based on the 08/29/14 Fund statement which showed a balance of $26,008.39 and the only known expense since that time of $2000 for repairs of the Sperry Cemetery stones.
Goldberg volunteered to request copies of the statements for the Carrington Cemetary (sic) Fund Account from July 1, 2012 forward so that the actual fund balance can be determined
New Members – Revise Ordinance to Make Alternates
The Chairman reported that he had heard that there was going to be a special town meeting in January. Commission members discussed the need to have a request made to the Board of Selectmen to have the Cemetery Commission Ordinance revised to have five full members and two alternates. This would alleviate the need to have a quorum of four Commission members to conduct business and would allow any new appointees to the Commission to be named as alternates.
Bylaws and Lot Fees
Goldberg reported that she has begun work on bylaws, which can either be “simple” or “detailed”. She also reported on her research on fees charged for cemetery plots and grave openings by other towns of comparable size and/or population to the Bethany. Based on discussion she will draft a proposed fee schedule and preliminary by-laws for review at the January Commission meeting, which will include:
- Cost of standard casket sized plots to be $800 (up from $400)
- Note: It was the consensus that this size plot could be used for either burial of a single casket, or single casket with cremation urn or two cremation urns.
- Cost of smaller plots for use for a single cremation urn to be $400.
- No more than one headstone per individual plot
- Headstones to be uniformly situated on plots so as to accommodate mowing and maneuvering of machinery for opening and closing graves.
Goldberg will contact local funeral homes to obtain the cost of opening graves. It was noted that opening graves on weekends or holidays should cost more.
There being no further business to come before the Commission, it was moved by Sullivan and seconded by Thornquist to adjourn the meeting at 9:51 p.m.