Friday, February 2, 2001
Selectmen review cemetery policy
Gary Davis of the DPW was on hand at the January 23 selectmen's meeting to provide his comments on the cemetery policy document which is currently under review by the selectmen. This document will provide a consistent policy for lot ownership, interments, monuments and markers, and decoration of lots in the town-owned Green Cemetery.
Residency requirements, lot restrictions
Davis agreed with the provision that lots may be purchased by "Carlisle Residents, or former Carlisle Residents only, or by current Carlisle Residents for family members," which he said was consistent with current policy. The number of cremation urns that could be buried in each lot in lieu of one full-earth burial was then discussed.
Some lots set aside for the First Religious Society contain eight spots for cremation remains, with small flat markers. Noting this exception and the difficulty of fitting eight markers in the limited space, Davis said "I'd prefer to go with six."
Davis noted that several lots contain flat boundary markers, and that such markers pose no problem to maintenance. He suggested changing the "no boundary markers" provision to "flat boundary markers only." He also saw no need to restrict the use of pesticides or fertilizers on lot plantings, so this restriction was eliminated.
Leash law, artificial flowers
Davis also questioned whether the requirement to keep dogs on leashes was "excessive," adding that he had received no complaints about dogs, and the current policy has never required leashes. Selectman Doug Stevenson noted the need for "dignity and decorum" and questioned whether unleashed dogs might interrupt services. It was decided to change the wording to require dogs to be "firmly under control." "We can always change it if it becomes an issue," said Davis.
Town clerk Sarah Andreassen was reported to have objected to the banning of artificial flowers from the cemetery. Davis noted that "there are some artificial flowers there, and there've been no complaints," although in his opinion, some displays were a little "excessive." It was decided to strike the ban on artificial flowers, but add a provision for "departmental discretion to remove" as some get quite tatty after a few weeks.
Davis reported that an occasional issue arises as to "who has control of the lot?" Although technically the holder of the deed has control, "some deeds are over one hundred years old" and may be lost. The policy on lost deeds has been to issue no duplicates since an incident some years ago in which two deeds were presented for one lot. This policy will be added to the document.
Deeds and fees
Davis also suggested looking at the fee structure, which seems out-of-line with other towns. Currently the fee is $200 per lot, with free use of the small chapel in the cemetery. Others towns charge as much as $1000 per lot. In addition, the chapel has required some repairs which the town might want to cover with fees. A comment from the audience that "This must be the cheapest real estate in Carlisle!" was greeted with a laugh and a determination that fees will be examined.
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito