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Greene County To Form Cemetery Commission

Last updated on Thursday, July 18, 2013

(BLOOMFIELD) - The Greene County Commissioners moved forward with plans on Monday morning to form a County Cemetery Commission.

The Greene County Daily World reports, the commissioners directed attorney Marilyn Hartman to draw up the resolution establishing the new volunteer commission to oversee cemeteries in the county which meet several conditions established by the state legislature. The commissioners hope to formally establish the commission at its next meeting on Aug. 6.

State law allows for a cemetery commission to be established if there are cemeteries in a county that have suffered neglect and deterioration; that may contain remains of an Indiana pioneer leader or veteran of an American war, including the Revolutionary War; and either was established before 1875 or is a burial ground for a veteran of the Civil War.

The commissioners are authorized to appoint a cemetery commission of five residents who are appointed for a term of five years.

Commissioners' President Rick Graves said he recently met with the County Township Trustees Association and received positive feedback on starting the Cemetery Commission. The trustees did request to have an appointee from the organization on the new commission.

In April, the commissioners heard from Dennis Smith, who explained that his great-great-great-great-grandfather was David Daniel Wesner, a soldier in the American Revolution who is buried at Slinkard Cemetery in Cass Township, near Newberry. When Smith went to do some research at the small cemetery, he found it was in need of some maintenance and repairs. He brought his concerns to the commissioners and Graves acknowledged it got him to thinking about what can be done to help take care of these kinds of cemeteries.

According to Hartman, a county cemetery commission may request the levy of an annual tax for the purpose of restoring and maintaining cemeteries. The tax rate may not exceed 50 cents on each $100 of assessed valuation of property.

The possible activities of the commission could include putting fence up around a cemetery, removing vegetation, leveling ground and re-seeding with grass and re-setting gravestones.

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