(MITCHELL) - Mitchell Clerk Treasurer George James asked the Mitchell City Council members Monday night about the placement of headstones on pauper graves.
The city governs pauper burials.
According to city code pauper burials are only available to those in the Mitchell School District and burials are limited to only the designated pauper area, burials must be made in succession - no skipping spaces and proof of a person's inability to pay for the spot must be submitted to the clerk-treasurer's office.
But later in the code it states the burial lot must be paid for in full before a headstone can be placed on the grave.
James questioned the council after a family, who has purchased a headstone for the site, was not allowed to place the stone because the gravesite was not paid for.
City Attorney Byron Steele, who drew up the ordinance under former mayor Jerry Hancock, says the ordinance applied for those who were paying for a burial plot on contract with the city. Saying that at the time of that passage, the council didn't even consider it applying to pauper burials
Mayor Gary Pruett would like to see changes to the ordinance stating he thinks those who opt for the pauper burials and then want to place a headstone should pay the $75 care fee the city charges others.
Another change he suggested would be to limit pauper burials to Mondays through Fridays, excluding holidays, because of the rate of pay the city must pay cemetery workers to open and close graves.
Steele will draft an amended ordinance to reflect those changes for the April 7th council meeting.
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