INTRODUCTION

 

            In presenting these rules and regulations, we hope you will cooperate with us and that the provisions of herein will be carefully considered and kindly received, as we are all working together to promote the welfare and beauty of our cemetery.

 

            It is the aim of the Homer Township Board to make the cemetery a quiet, beautiful resting place for the deceased as well as keeping abreast of modern cemetery improvements, proper mode of burial and respectful observance of the sacredness of the cemetery. 

 

            Purchasers of lots acquire simply the right and privilege of the burial of human remains and the erection of markers, subject to the regulations now in force or those enacted by the Homer Township Board in the future. 

 

            Let us not forget our cemetery is a sacred place and the markers are a message to future generations.  Our cemetery will grow in beauty only by the effort and resources  provided.

 

 

NOTICE

 

            It is our suggestion that persons wishing to purchase lots first inspect them at the cemetery under the direction of the Township Clerk before payment has been made.  This will insure that the buyer knows where the lots are located.  All arrangements for cemetery lots and services must be made with the Township Clerk.  Payment can be made to the Clerk or the Treasurer.

 

 

            DEFINITIONS

 

A.  GRAVE SPACE

            The term grave space is an area necessary to accommodate an interment.  Grave spaces in the Old, West, East and North sections are one lot, 8 plots 16' x 16'.  Grave spaces in Sections A, B, C, D and E are one lot, one plot, 4' x 10'.  Babyland spaces are 4' x 4'.

 

B.  SINGLE SPACE LOT

            Single space lots are individual graves.  These refer to sections A, B, C, D and E.

 

C.  INTERMENT

            Interment means the disposition of the deceased person by burial  

or burial of the deceased person's ashes.

 

 

D.  MARKER

            A marker is flush or above ground indicating the given names of the deceased or the given and family names of the deceased.

 

E.  LOT MARKER

            A lot marker is a ceramic or cement post or metal marker used by the cemetery to indicate lot or grave corners.

 

F.  RESIDENT

            Resident means a person who has been a property owner for at least one year at the time of purchase or any person who has ever lived in the township for at least ten years at some point in time.  Special exceptions may be made by the Township Board on an individual basis.

 

G.  NON-RESIDENT

            Non-resident means a person who is not a property owner or a person whose legal residence is not in Homer Township.

 

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

            *All graves are so designed so that the deceased face the east.

            *All graves in each lot are numbered south to north.

            *The order of interment is up to each family.  Most, however, place the wife to the right (as one faces east) of the husband. 

 

 

GENERAL REGULATIONS

 

I.  CONDUCT IN CEMETERIES

            A.  Rubbish should be placed in proper containers as provided.

            B.  Wild or domestic flowers, trees and shrubs are placed for the beautification of the cemetery and are not to be picked or mutilated.

            C.  Alcoholic beverages are not to be consumed in the cemetery.

            D.  Pets are not permitted on the cemetery grounds.

            E.  Advertising is not permitted.

            F.  Firearms will not be permitted in the cemetery except for authorized volleys at burials or memorial services.

            G.  The township shall not be responsible for any damage to lots and structures or objects thereon, or for flowers or articles removed from any lot or grave.  It is of the utmost importance that there should be strict observation of these regulations.  All persons within the cemetery should avoid conduct unbecoming to a sacred place.

 

 

II.  TRAFFIC

            The following traffic laws of Homer Township Cemetery shall be observed by all patrons:

            A.  A person driving in the cemetery shall be responsible for any damage done by his or her vehicle.

            B.  No driving in excess of 15 miles per hour.

            C.  No driving off established roads without permission.

            D.  No use of cemetery roads as public thoroughfares.

            E.  No snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or other non-licensed motor-driven vehicles, with the exception of normal maintenance equipment, are allowed.

 

III.  MAINTENANCE     

            A.  General Care

                        1.  The township will provide the cutting and trimming of grass and other care that is necessary to maintain a uniform appearance of the cemetery.

                        2.  All grave openings will be seeded or sodded by cemetery personnel at the appropriate time.

                        3.  The general care assumed by the cemetery shall in no case mean the maintenance, repair or replacement of any memorial placed upon lots, nor the doing of any special or unusual work in the cemetery.  Nor does it mean the reconstruction of any marble or granite work on any section or plot in the cemetery caused by the elements, an act of God, common enemy, thieves, vandals, unavoidable accidents or by the order of any civil authority, whether the damage be direct or collateral, other than as herein provided. 

 

IV.  PLANTINGS AND IMPROVEMENTS

            A.  All plantings and other improvements to lots shall be done under the direction and with the approval of the Township Board, cemetery personnel or persons duly authorized.

            B.  Care of shrubs placed upon grave sites are the responsibility of family members.

            C.  Copings, fences,  and structures of wood or other equally perishable material are             prohibited.  Those structures or enclosures established on any lot previous to the adoption of these regulations which have, in the judgment of cemetery personnel, become unsightly by reason of neglect or age, shall be removed.

            D.  Summer decorations are allowed from May 1 to October 31.  Decorations such as potted plants and wreaths are permitted, including special decor for most holidays.  These items may be removed when, in the judgment of the cemetery personnel, they have become unsightly by reason of neglect or age.  All potted plants are to be placed within 16" of the marker. 

            E.  Surfaces other than earth or sod are prohibited.  Such items as decorative crushed stone and bark are not permitted around grave spaces and may be removed without notice by cemetery personnel.

            F.  Receptacles for cut flowers will be permitted if installed flush with the surface of the lawn and not to exceed 16" from the marker.

            G.  Winter decorations consisting of evergreen blankets or wreaths may be maintained on graves from Thanksgiving until March 1 at which time they shall be disposed of by cemetery personnel.

            H.  Rubbish, refuse and unused containers must not be left on grave spaces.  They should be placed in proper containers that are provided.

            I.  An owner may embellish his lot or grave with shrubs subject to obtaining permission from cemetery personnel.  Planting out of harmony with the general landscape design of the cemetery grounds is not permitted nor is planting which may interfere with adjacent lots.  The owner may choose from a variety  of shrubs and evergreens for planting on the lot.

            J.  Plant materials which die, grow too large, or of a type not permitted by these regulations, may be removed by an individual owner.  Cemetery personnel may also remove such items at the request of the owner, if living.  However, no liability shall accrue to the township if such notice is not given.  Replacement with approved materials may be made by an individual owner.

            K.  If flowers or ground cover are planted, the beds should be next to a monument or marker, be clearly defined, be well maintained and not to exceed 16" from the marker.

            L.  The placement of  toys, metal designs or ornaments, chairs, vases and similar articles upon plots or lots will not be permitted; and if so placed, cemetery personnel reserve the right to remove same.

 

V.   MARKERS

            All markers shall be placed upon foundations of solid masonry.  The top of foundations for markers shall be smooth and level.  The foundation will be constructed so that the appearance of markers will be aesthetic and conform to maintenance standards.  All foundations will be a minimum of two inches wider than the marker.  All foundations will be placed so that they will be symmetric with others for maintenance purposes.  NOTE:  Some foundations do not apply because of the date they were put in place.

           

VI.  FUNERALS AND INTERMENTS        

            A.  Funerals

                        1.  All funeral processions within the cemetery shall be directed by cemetery personnel.

                        2.  Workmen engaged in the vicinity of a burial shall suspend their labors during services.

                        3.  Funeral directors, upon arrival at the cemetery, must present the necessary burial permit from the County Health Department.

                        4.  All memorial services shall be conducted in the Chapel area.

                        5.  The cemetery personnel will remove the funeral designs and floral pieces as soon as they become unsightly.

            B.  Interments

                        1.  Interments may take place on Sundays or holidays according to the current rates.  Holidays are designated as New Years, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas.

                        2.  No grave will be opened unless the grave space has been paid for unless the funeral director assumes the responsibility of payment for such grave spaces.

                        3.  Funeral directors making arrangements for burials shall be responsible for all charges.

                        4.  If the deceased to be interred is not the lot owner or is not a member of the lot owner's immediate family, written consent of the owner, owners, or authorized agent must be filed with the Township Clerk before interment will be permitted.

                        5.  All burials shall be in vaults or concrete rough boxes except interments of ashes from cremation or infant burials in caskets sizes 2' and 2'6".

                        6.  A standard adult grave is limited to either one adult, two infants,  two cremains, one adult and one infant, or one adult and one cremain.

                        7.  Not less than 48 hours notice shall be given in advance of any time of any funeral to allow for the opening of the burial space.

 

            C.  Disinterments or Reinterments

                        1.  Disinterments and reinterments shall not be made without permission of the Township Clerk, the lot owner, and next of kin of the deceased, and the proper permits from the County Health Department or Circuit Court.

                        2.  The Township Board or cemetery personnel shall not be held responsible for errors in location of graves on lots arising from improper instructions of lot owners.  Orders from funeral directors shall be construed as orders from owners.

                        3.  Under no circumstances shall the township or its employees assume responsibility for error in opening graves.  No grave shall be opened except by personnel employed by the cemetery management.

 

VII.  PRICES AND CHARGES

            A.  Conditions of grave purchase

                        1.  All lots and graves shall be sold subject to these regulations as they may be amended from time to time and the deed shall so state.  Deeds are subject to the rules and regulations pertaining to the Homer Township Cemetery as they may be published by the township from time to time. 

                        2.  No grave space shall be used for any purpose other than the burial of human remains and the placing of appropriate memorials.

                        3.  Burial areas are exempt from ordinary taxes and cannot be seized on execution.

                        4.  No mortgage or other encumbrance shall be given on any grave space or lot.

                        5.  No burial area may be purchased or sold or rights transferred for speculative purposes.

                        6.  A grave, whether plotted as a single grave or part of a multi-grave lot, may be sold as a single grave or in any combination of graves.  

                        7.  When a lot is purchased by more than one person, each person's interest in the lot shall be specifically defined.

                        8.  The Township Board may periodically alter the aforementioned fees to accommodate increased costs.

                        9. In an effort to conserve and maintain the best usage of Homer Cemetery, the township at its discretion, and on a case-by-case basis, and excluding any lots in the Old, North, and West sections of the Cemetery may buy back unused cemetery lots at an equitable price if an original deed is provided or other legal documentation of proof of ownership. 

                        10.  Current fees and charges as adopted by the Township Board are available upon request.

            B.  Conditions of Transfer

                        1.  Upon the death of the owner or the last to die of joint or multiple owners of a grave space, ownership of remaining spaces shall be governed by the disposition as set forth in the last will and testament in the case of a testate estate, or by the laws of descent and distribution of the State of Michigan in the case of an intestate estate.  It shall be the responsibility of anyone claiming ownership of a grave space under these provisions or as a result of any transfer of ownership, to             provide the township with such proof as shall be satisfactory to the township of said person's legal ownership of said grave space. 

                        2.  Burial rights may be transferred only by endorsement of an assignment of such burial permit upon the original burial permit form issues by the Township Clerk, approved by the Clerk, and entered upon the official records of the Clerk.  Upon such assignment, approval and record, the Clerk shall issue a new burial permit to the assignee and shall cancel and terminate such records of the original permit thus assigned.

 

VIII.  RECORDS   

                       The Township Clerk shall maintain records concerning all burials, issuance of burial permits and separate them from any other records of the township.  The same shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable business hours.

 

IX.  ENFORCEMENT

                       The cemetery personnel is hereby empowered to enforce all the above regulations and to exclude from the cemetery any person violating the same.  The cemetery personnel shall have charge of the grounds and buildings including the conduct of funerals, traffic, employees, plot owners and visitors and at all times shall have supervision and control of all persons in the cemetery.

 

 

 

X.  GENERAL

                      The township hereby expressly reserves the right to adopt additional regulations or to amend, alter or repeal any regulation, section, paragraph or sentence at any time.  Sufficient notice will be given by the Homer Township Board of any rule change that will create expense, hardship or inconvenience to lot owners or other individuals having business with the cemetery.  

 

REVISED:  November, 2006

 

CEMETERY RULES COMMITTEE:

Tom Pritchard      Chairman

Ken Schlafley       Secretary

Ruby Behnke

Mark Avery