CHAPTER XII. PARKS AND RECREATION, PUBLIC PROPERTYCHAPTER XII. PARKS AND RECREATION, PUBLIC PROPERTY\ARTICLE 8. CITY CEMETERY

The cemetery operated by the City of Russell, Kansas, shall be referred to as the Russell City Cemetery and shall be referred to herein as the cemetery or city cemetery.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

All provisions of the city code now in force or hereafter enacted, relating to and defining public offenses, traffic infractions and traffic offenses in the city, shall, insofar as the same shall be applicable, be in full force and effect in the city cemetery.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The cemetery shall be under the control and supervision of the city manager, who shall through his or her subordinates cause to be enforced the code provisions pertaining to the cemetery and the rules and regulations governing the same.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The city manager may appoint a suitable and competent person to act as sexton of the cemetery who shall have immediate care of the cemetery grounds and lots.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The city manager shall employ such other persons as may be necessary for the proper care, maintenance and operation of the cemetery.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The sexton shall have the custody and care of the city’s personal property in or about the cemetery. He or she shall cause all persons within the cemetery to observe the rules and regulations pertaining to conduct therein and the care and adornment of cemetery lots. The sexton shall report all violations of cemetery rules and regulations to the public works director. The sexton or his/her agents shall make such reports of any burials as may be required.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The city clerk shall have the custody of and shall keep official cemetery records of lots, conveyances, owners and interments in the cemetery and shall keep an official plat of the cemetery in his or her office. He or she shall collect and account for cemetery funds from sale of space(s), or received from other sources and fees, and shall issue all cemetery certificates and permits as authorized by law or ordinance.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

All lots and grave spaces shall be solely for the purpose of burial of human remains, as the conveyances shall recite.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, other than duly authorized officers or employees of the city, to enter into or be upon the cemetery grounds during the time between one hour after sunset and the hour of sunrise of any day without first obtaining the permission of the sexton or his/her agent in charge of the cemetery. It shall further be unlawful at all times for any person to enter or leave the grounds other than by the established and open entrances or gateways thereto or to enter or be upon the cemetery grounds when the gates or entrances thereto are closed, locked or blocked without first obtaining the permission of the sexton or his/her agent.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge any firearms or fireworks in the cemetery. This section shall not apply to military personnel, members of veterans organizations engaged in memorial services or programs, or to law enforcement officers.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive any vehicle in the cemetery faster than 15 miles per hour, to either move or drive any vehicle within the cemetery except over a roadway open for vehicular traffic. A person driving in the cemetery shall be responsible for any damage done by the vehicle.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

It shall be unlawful for any person to allow or permit his or her animal to run at large within the cemetery.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

It shall be unlawful for any person to dispose of any rubbish, trash or waste materials or debris of any kind in the city cemetery. It shall be permissible to accumulate any refuse resulting from the doing of any authorized work in the cemetery but the same together with all derricks, tools and materials shall be removed immediately upon completion of such work and the grounds shall be left in as good condition as possible.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

Subject to the rules and regulations therefor established, it shall be unlawful for any person to remove, molest, injure, mar, deface, throw down or destroy any headstone, monument, survey marker, corner marker, tomb, vault or mausoleum or decoration on any cemetery lot in the cemetery, or to open, disturb or molest any grave or place of burial therein.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to plant any tree, shrub or other ground cover in the cemetery except those permitted by the general landscape plan approved by the governing body. It shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to cut down, injure, break or destroy any tree, shrub or other plant growing in the cemetery or to pick, pluck or cut any flower or decorative plant except as authorized by the cemetery sexton or his/her agent.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

It shall be unlawful for any person to loiter or trespass upon lots and graves of the city cemetery. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit any person having lawful business in the cemetery in connection with improvement thereof or persons visiting the graves of relatives or friends from being in the cemetery in accordance with the rules.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

In order to secure uniformity of work and to prevent unsightly conditions and to provide rules for the use and adornment of the lots and graves in the city cemetery the following regulations shall govern the cemetery:

(a)   The space owner shall place a permanent marker or headstone on their respective space(s) if such is desired, of such materials, as may be approved by the governing body. All markers and headstones shall be located within the lot lines of each lot or space and shall not be placed in parking, roadways, walks or foot of graves. All foundations shall be set flush with the grade as established by the city. All headstones, monuments and markers must be set by an employee of a monument company or a qualified person under the supervision of the sexton or his/her agent in charge of the cemetery.

(b)   All monument, headstone or marker foundations shall be constructed of granite, poured or pre-cast concrete made with not more than six parts coarse sand or gravel and not less than one part of quality cement thoroughly mixed. The concrete shall be placed in a pit up to grade and made level on top. The granite or concrete foundation shall extend not less than four inches beyond the full width and length of the monument or stone and its cubic capacity shall be in general not less than three-fifths of the volume of the monument or in proportion to the size and weight thereof.

(c)   Materials and equipment for the erection of monuments, headstones or other structures shall be placed and used in such manner as not to injure other lots, avenues or walkways. Upon completion of the work, all rubbish, unused materials and any equipment shall forthwith be removed from the cemetery.

(d)   No headstone or monument shall be more than 18 inches in height, unless such stone shall be at least six inches in thickness and only one headstone or monument shall be placed at any one grave. Headstones or monuments shall be constructed only of granite, marble, or bronze. No coloring, painting, enameling, lacquering or advertising shall be permitted on any monument or headstone other than that applied by the headstone or monument manufacturer. Ledgers or grave covers may only be used in a lot that already has a ledger or grave cover in place as of January 1, 2014.

(e)   Above ground structures shall be limited to monuments, headstones and markers.

(f)   The permanent mounding of a grave is prohibited.

(g)   Shepherd hoods, signs, artificial lighting, balloons, chimes, toys, instruments, glass objects, animal parts, copings, fences, walls, curbs, ornamental rock, metal or wood structures around lots or portions thereof, are prohibited.

(h)   When a grave adornment is neglected or is in disrepair the city may remove such adornment or correct the condition of neglect and/or disrepair.

(i)    If any tree or shrub of any kind situated on any lot shall become dangerous or detrimental to the good appearance of adjacent lots, parking or roadways, the city may cause such condition to be corrected or the offending plant or item removed without notice.

(j)    The funeral director or person in charge of full burials, except for cremations, shall be responsible for the contracting of the opening and closing of the grave and for the payment of all charges or fees directly to the contractor.

(k)   All contractors who contract for the opening and closing of full graves in the Russell City Cemetery shall be approved by the governing body of the city and shall post a cash bond or certificate of liability insurance in the amount specified by the governing body.

(1)   All graves shall be opened and closed as directed by the cemetery sexton, his/her agent or public works director.

(m)  All cremation urn graves shall be opened and closed by the cemetery sexton or his/her agent and payment of all charges or fees paid directly to the city.

(n)   Memorial Holiday flowers, plants and decorations will be removed and disposed of each year on the second Monday following the holiday for maintenance purposes. Exception will be for flowers displayed in permanent monument type vases and decorations designed to be attached to the monument. The date flowers and decorations are to be removed will be publicized.

(o)   No burial shall be made for two or more bodies in one grave space. Burial of two containers of ashes in one grave space or one full burial and a container of ashes in one grave space is permitted.

(p)   No burials shall be made on Sundays or City observed holidays, except where state law requires otherwise.

(q)   All full burials in the Russell City Cemetery must be put into a permanent type of vault for the casket. It must be of steel, concrete or copper to prevent future settling of the grave. An urn must be of solid nonperishable material and sealed properly. An urn may be placed in any area of the space, but must be below ground level. Scattering of cremated remains or ashes is not permitted anywhere.

(r)    Grave Depths: All full burials in city cemetery shall be made in graves excavated to a depth of at least five feet and not more than six feet. Exceptions shall be made in case of graves for infants and below ground mausoleums. No part of the burial container (vault) shall extend up farther than within thirty inches of the surface of the ground. No part of an urn grave shall extend up farther than twelve inches of the surface of the ground.

(s)   All temporary markers that are placed at time of burial will be removed within one year.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The division, survey and plat of the Russell City Cemetery into blocks, lots, spaces, parking, roadways and walks, as made and constituted at the time of acquisition by the city, are accepted and approved. The sale price of all unsold lots or parts thereof shall be fixed by the governing body.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

All unsold grave spaces, surveyed and platted for grave spaces in the cemetery, shall be sold in quantities of not less than one grave space by the city. The prices and the effective dates of such prices shall be determined by resolution of the governing body, and may be amended as the governing body determines.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

Upon the full payment of the purchase of any lot or burial space owned by the city, a cemetery certificate shall be issued by the city clerk that shall be signed by the mayor and attested by the clerk under the seal of the city. Such certificate shall convey to and vest in the purchaser, his or her heirs and assigns the exclusive right to make burial of human remains in the space(s) under the regulations of the governing body of the city. Such certificate shall be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county without further acknowledgment. The city clerk shall collect the cost of recording the certificate at the time of sale and cause the certificate to be recorded in the Office of the Register of Deeds prior to delivery to the purchaser.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

No transfer of a cemetery certificate shall be valid without executing a written conveyance thereof and providing a copy to the city clerk who shall enter same on records of his or her office. In addition, the parties to the transfer shall be encouraged to record the transfer in the Office of the Register of Deeds.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

No monument, headstone or marker of any kind shall be placed on any lot or grave space, or removed or relocated without a work permit from the city. The work permit shall be issued upon an application in writing by the owner of the space(s), his or her agent or representative, giving:

(a)   Twenty-four hour advance notice;

(b)   Name of owner(s);

(c)   Location of space(s);

(d)   Description of work to be done, and

(e)   Date and hour of work to be done.

No permit shall be issued by the city for any such purpose until the space(s) and permit have been paid for in full.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

No grave shall be opened in any lot or space until the sexton is presented with the permit herein required. Any person shall be liable to the city for any charges or fees required for opening any grave. No work or preparation shall be commenced without a permit or without an assurance of payment of the fees or charges required thereof.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

Before any grave space shall be opened or dug, an application therefore shall be made to the city clerk for a permit for interment.

(a)   The permit request for such may be made by:

(1)   The owner of the space or his or her duly authorized agent or representative;

(2)   The funeral director or authorized person in charge of; or

(3)   Some other authorized person.

(b)   The application shall contain a stipulation that the holder of the permit agrees to indemnify the city for any expense, or other liability, that may be incurred in the event the opening proves to be unauthorized or is at an incorrect location.

(c)   The application shall give the following information:

(1)   Name of grave space owner/s;

(2)   Description of the block, section (if any), lot and grave space;

(3)   Full name of person to be interred;

(4)   Date of Death;

(5)   Date of Birth;

(6)   Date of Burial;

(7)   Time of burial (approximate);

(8)   Type of Vault, Box or Urn and urn size;

(9)   Name(s) and addresses of applicant and person requesting interment; and

(10) Signature of applicant.

(d)   The city clerk shall, upon the approval of an application and upon receipt of the permit fee, and upon satisfactory evidence of payment of the full purchase price of a lot or grave space at the time of the application, issue a permit giving the above information and permission for stone setting on the lot or grave space described. The permit fee shall be set, and may be amended, by resolution of the governing body.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

Any person desiring to reopen any grave in the cemetery to disinter or remove any body therefrom, or for any other purpose, shall first obtain a disinterment permit from the Kansas State Board of Health when required by law, and second, a disinterment permit from the city clerk to be issued upon proper application and the payment of the service as set by resolution of the governing body. In addition, a grave opening permit must be obtained if the remains are to be placed back in another location within the cemetery.

(a)   The application for disinterment may be made by:

(1)   The owner of the space or his or her duly authorized agent or representative; or

(2)   The funeral director in charge or authorized person in charge of disinterment;

(b)   A member of the decedent’s family shall sign the permit or when there is no family it shall be signed by the next of kin desiring to reopen the grave. Upon approval thereof, a disinterment permit shall be issued. The permit shall contain the information contained in the application and shall be issued over the signature of the city clerk and under the seal of the city and shall authorize the reopening of the grave as described by such permit. An order of the any court, or the judge thereof, for the exhumation of the body of a deceased person, shall be a sufficient application for a release hereunder and no further application shall be required. Unless prohibited by law, the fee set forth above shall be assessed to the party requesting the court order and if prohibited then shall be a claim against the County Commissioners as provided by law.

(c)   The applicant shall include the following information in the application:

(1)   Description of the block, section (if any), lot and grave space;

(2)   Full name of deceased;

(3)   Date of death;

(4)   Reason for disinterment;

(5)   Date of disinterment;

(6)   Time of disinterment;

(7)   Date of reburial;

(8)   Type of vault or urn and urn size;

(9)   Name of firm and address;

(10) Signature of applicant; and

(11) Other information as may reasonably be required to permit the application to be considered and acted on.

(d)   The application shall contain a stipulation that the holder of the permit agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the city and its officers, agents and employees from any expense or liability that may be incurred in the event the disinterment proves to be unauthorized or is at an incorrect location.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The following shall apply in the vicinity where a funeral service is being conducted. All persons who are not friends or acquaintances or are not immediately connected with the family of the deceased are forbidden to loiter in the vicinity of an open grave. No cars or pedestrians may pass during a funeral service. All work in the vicinity of a funeral shall cease during the service.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

(a)   Orders for a funeral shall be construed as the orders from the lot owners they are serving.

(b)   The city shall not be held responsible for discrepancies or errors in the interment or disinterment of bodies, unless instruction for such interment or disinterment have been provided to the city in writing.

(c)   In the event there is an error or mistake in the description, transfer or conveyance of interment property, the city may correct such error, either by cancelling such conveyance and substituting and conveying other interment property of equal value and similar location or by refunding the amount of money paid for such purpose. It shall be in the sole discretion of the city as to which alternative is selected; however, the desires of the owners of the property shall be taken into consideration prior to making a selection of the alternative.

(d)   In the event it is discovered that remains have been interred in an incorrect location, the city shall have the right to remove and reinter such remains to the correct location.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The city shall not be financially responsible for any damage to lots and structures or objects thereon, or for flowers or articles removed from any lot or grave.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)

The city council, as the governing body of the city, may adopt and promulgate suitable and proper rules and regulations for City Cemetery which do not conflict with the City’s Code. All such rules and regulations shall be adopted in resolution form and be available for public review at the city clerk’s office.

(Ord. 1186; Ord. 1851)