Town of North Reading, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Special Town Meeting of the Town of North Reading 3-12-1973 by Art. 2, approved 10-11-1973. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
All Town-owned cemeteries shall be under the direction and supervision of the Director of the Department of Public Works.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Throughout this chapter, all references to the Superintendent of Public Works were amended to refer to the Director of Public Works 10-2-2000 ATM by Art. 6, approved 3-29-2001.
B. 
He shall be responsible for all maintenance, construction, and all other duties generally associated with cemeteries, including the enforcement of these by-laws.
C. 
In subsequent sections of this chapter, the word Director shall mean the Director of Public Works. The Director may delegate his authority to a designee, who in turn shall have the same power as the Director.
[Amended 10-5-2015 OTM by Art. 18, approved 1-14-2016]
A. 
Notice of 24 hours before the announced time of the funeral will be required. In cases of extreme weather conditions, causes beyond human control, documented religious or cultural limitations, or because of any other extenuating circumstances, the Director may schedule an interment as conditions permit. No funerals will be permitted on Sundays or on any of the following holidays: July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day.
B. 
Upon reaching the cemetery, all funerals shall be under the charge of the Director.
C. 
No interment shall be made until the Director has been furnished with such permits, as required by the Laws of the Commonwealth, together with an order of interment signed by the owner or legal representative of the lot in which interment is to be made, and all charges against said lot or grave and all fees for such interment have been paid.
D. 
No interment will be permitted to be made other than at a right angle to the avenue or path on which the lot or grave is located. Exceptions to this rule may be allowed by the Director when deemed in the best interest of the Town.
E. 
Not more than one (1) adult and one (1) cremation urn will be allowed to be interred in a single grave.
F. 
A child under six (6) months of age may be interred with an adult in a single grave.
When applicable a charge will be made for the use of the receiving tomb as hereinafter provided. The Director reserves the right to order the removal of a body from the receiving tomb at any time.
The deed for a lot or grave will specify its dimensions and the inhabitants of the Town shall not be held liable for any statement, either expressed or implied, as to the number of graves such lot may contain.
A. 
Only one (1) grave marker will be allowed on a single grave.
B. 
Curbings, fences, corner posts, above grade urns, platforms, steps, buttresses, settees, concrete or stone vases are not allowed.
C. 
Erection of above grade monuments shall be limited to those complete sections and/or complete rows of sections as designated by the Director of Public Works. Such monuments shall not exceed one (1) foot deep by four (4) feet wide by three (3) feet high for each lot containing two (2) or more graves.
[Amended 10-17-1977 ATM by Art. 21, approved 2-28-1978; 10-8-1981 ATM by Art. 16, approved 3-2-1982]
D. 
All grave markers must be set so that the long dimensions shall be placed parallel with the path or avenue on which the lot or grave is deeded. Grave markers must be set flush with the grade and must not exceed two (2) feet in length by one (1) foot in width, and must be smooth on all edges and the bottom. All grave markers must be set under the supervision of the Director. No upright markers are permitted. Exceptions to the rules governing the placement of grave markers may be allowed by the Director when deemed to be in the best interests of the Town.
E. 
Whenever a memorial is to be removed, cleaned, or an inscription placed upon it, the proper order must be filled out and signed by the owner of the lot.
F. 
Workmen employed in the cutting of inscriptions or the cleaning of existing monuments shall be under the control and direction of the Director.
A. 
There shall be no planting or disturbing the sod whatsoever.
B. 
If any existing tree or shrub situated on any lot of land shall, by means of its roots or branches or otherwise, become detrimental to said lot or any adjacent lot or become dangerous or inconvenient, it shall be the duty of the Director, and he shall have the right, to enter upon said lot and remove said tree or shrub or any part as he may determine dangerous or inconvenient.
C. 
Baskets or other containers shall have legs so that they will not rest directly on the ground and should be removed by the owners if they wish to preserve them; otherwise, they shall be removed by the Director when, in his judgment, the plants or flowers have decayed. The Town is not responsible for any flowers, baskets, or any other decoration placed on lots or graves by the owner.
D. 
No person shall gather any flowers, remove, cut, or damage any tree or shrub, or mark, deface, or disturb any monument.
A. 
Removals will not be made without a signed order from the owner.
B. 
Removals will be made at the discretion of the Director as to time.
C. 
Responsibility for damage to the casket or burial case or urn in the removal shall not be assumed by the Town.
No lots or graves shall be purchased without payment of a perpetual care charge. Income derived from fees assessed for perpetual care shall be used forever to fill, level, top, dress, cut, and take care of the grass on such lot or grave.
A. 
No lot or grave in the cemetery shall be sold to any person other than a legal resident or former legal resident of the Town or on behalf of a legal resident or former legal resident.
B. 
Ownership in a burial lot or grave is not transferable, except upon the decease of a proprietor of such lot, the title thereto shall vest in his heirs-at-law or devisees, according to General Law, Chapter 114, Section 29.
C. 
Whenever a purchaser of a burial lot or grave removes his residence from the Town he may, if he so desires, resell his ownership back to the Town for a price not to exceed the original purchase price.
D. 
No rights of burial shall be sold to nonresidents of the Town other than former legal residents of the Town. There shall be an additional charge for any nonresident buried in any lot or grave purchased by a resident.
No work of any kind shall be performed on any lot or grave except under the supervision of the Director.
No grave shall be opened for interment or removal by any person not in the employ of the Department of Public Works.
A. 
The Select Board is authorized to establish a schedule of fees, charges, etc., for the sale of lots, interments, removals, use of tombs, etc.
[Amended 6-4-2018 ATM by Art. 28, approved 9-21-2018]
B. 
A copy of this schedule shall be placed with the Town Clerk.
C. 
The Select Board may, from time to time, review said fees and charges and establish a new schedule. Such revisions shall become effective thirty (30) days after public notice in a newspaper having circulation within the Town.
[Amended 6-4-2018 ATM by Art. 28, approved 9-21-2018]
D. 
Fees and charges shall be payable to the Town Collector.
Dogs and bicycles are not allowed in the cemetery at any time.
There shall be no unauthorized persons allowed in the cemetery after dark.
The Town is authorized to accept gifts for the establishment of a fund for the purpose of beautifying the cemetery. Such funds to be administered under the direction of the Director.