Act now - rest later

The city of Plummer plans to reclaim grave sites in the Evergreen Cemetery that have gone unused for 50 years or more. Individuals who wish to maintain ownership of their plot have 52 days as of this writing to notify the city.

If you purchased a gravesite in the Evergreen Cemetery on this day in 1969 and haven’t claimed your plot, now is the time.

The city of Plummer, which owns and operates the cemetery, is in the process of reclaiming grave sites that have been unused for 50 years or more.

The city has reclaimed only one site that was willingly given over, according to City Clerk Sara Allen.

“There’s been no protest yet,” she said. “This is the first one we’re doing. His mom is only buried here so there’s another one open and he doesn’t want it,” she said. “So, in that case we can just have them sign it over.”

Plot owners have 60 days from the time of publication of resolution to claim their plot before it becomes city property.

The resolution was published in the May 29, edition of the Gazette Record. Meaning plot owners have 53 days to make their claim as of this writing.

Some sites have gone unused for more than 100 years.

“The one’s we're just dealing with now are from 1917,” Ms. Allen said. “It’s going to be a long process.”

According to Ms. Allen the city is reclaiming the gravesites to make room.

“We’re kind of running out of space,” she said.

The city is considering expanding the cemetery.

“We’ve talked about [expansion]. We’ll probably have to get another well up there because we water the grass up there. And we’d have to plot the other half, which can be costly, but we might be able to do it ourselves. So, we’re looking into the options,” Ms. Allen said.

The city is also dealing with the issue of people conducting illegal burials at the cemetery.

“We’ve had families bury their loved ones without saying anything,” she said. “It’s federal law—you can’t do that. We need a death certificate.”

Ms. Allen said that families can conduct their own burials, but they must notify the city and pay the necessary fees.

The average price of a lot at Evergreen Cemetery is $400. Full interments cost $300. A cremation costs $150.

Funds from lot sales and services are deposited in the city’s general fund. Some of which is used to maintain the cemetery.

Evergreen cemetery costs the city approximately $4,000 annually to operate.

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