[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Madison 3-17-1980; printed as last amended 6-13-2005. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Board of Selectmen cemetery regulations and charges — See Ch. 532.
Editor's Note: Interim amendments to this ordinance were adopted 2-9-1981, 9-9-1985, 3-2-1987, 5-23-1988, 7-8-1991, 2-5-1996, 3-10-1997 and 3-24-2003.
This chapter shall apply to cemetery land owned by the Town of Madison and used for cemetery purposes.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BURIAL or INTERMENT
- The depositing of the remains of a human being into the ground.
- A person, firm, or corporation engaged in the sale and/or erection of vaults, liners, monuments, headstones, etc.
- Stone, concrete, or metal used to designate a burial plot
(flat, level with the ground).[Amended 6-11-2018]
- MONUMENTS (HEADSTONE)
- Granite or other stone block which may have the name of the
lot or burial rights owner(s) inscribed on it.[Amended 6-11-2018]
- Shall refer to burial rights and title to land held by a person or their heirs.
- A portion of land designed to hold the full remains of a human being.
- Person responsible for locating and positioning of any burial.
- SINGLE GRAVE
- A plot designated to contain the remains of one adult human
being, or two cremated remains of human beings; or one child and two
cremated remains of human beings.[Amended 6-13-2016; 6-11-2018]
- A concrete box large enough to contain the casket remains of the deceased.
No vehicle shall be operated on other than paved and unpaved roadways unless authorized by the Town. No vehicle shall be operated at a speed in excess of 15 miles per hour on any established roadways. The Town may post and close the roadways during certain times of the year to prevent damage to the cemeteries. All cemetery roads shall be closed at the discretion of the Town. No snowmobiles or unregistered vehicles may be operated within the cemetery at any time. No vehicle may be operated in any manner which results in damage to cemetery property, such as leaving ruts or displacing turf. Vehicles must not stop so as to block the path of other vehicles, except in cases involving burial ceremonies, and then only for such length of time as is absolutely necessary. All vehicles must park on the right side of the roadway.
The use of firearms, except as part of a military burial, is prohibited.
The owner of any lot is responsible for the removal of any unsightly flowers, wreaths, decorations, etc., from the grave site. If the owner fails to execute such removal, the Town may remove the same. The depositing of any refuse, unsightly flowers, wreaths or other grave decorations for disposal must be made in receptacles provided for such purpose; otherwise said deposits would be considered an act of littering. It is unlawful for anyone other than the owner or the Town to remove flowers, wreaths or decorations, etc., from the plots upon which they are laid.
If any trees or shrubs shall, by means of their roots, branches or otherwise, become detrimental to cemetery lots or roadways, or dangerous or inconvenient, the Town may remove said trees or shrubs or parts thereof as are detrimental, dangerous or inconvenient, without liability therefor to the owner of said trees or shrubs. No one shall damage, remove, injure or harm any trees or shrubs except the owner of said tree or shrub, or the Town. No trees or shrubs shall be removed by any owner without the permission of the Town.
Reports of any damage or thefts shall be reported to the Sheriff's Office for investigation and to the owner of such property, if known.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Subsection F, which stated that it was unlawful to damage or remove any items in the cemetery without Town permission, and which immediately followed this subsection. It also provided for the redesignation of former Subsections G through I as Subsections F through H, respectively.
The Town shall not be responsible for damages done to any property.
A copy of this chapter shall be issued with each deed.
All lots sold by the Town must have a perpetual care trust established prior to conveyance of title to the cemetery lot by the Town.
Any burial, interment or disinterment shall be done by the cemetery sexton or an agent approved by the Town.
Plots of land shall not be used for any other purpose than as a place of burial for human remains. No animal burials will be permitted.
If disinterment is requested, the Town shall be informed as to the length of disinterment, and proof that said disinterment complies with all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the State of Maine. If disinterment results in permanent removal, the Town shall be notified of the state, county, town and name of cemetery where the new burial is to be made.
Funeral directors shall be responsible for the payment of all burial charges, fees and burial permits except in cases where their services are not retained and other arrangements have been made with the Town.
All interments of noncremated remains shall be required to have vaults. All internments must be coordinated with the Town Sexton.
The Town shall designate a section of the Forest Hills Cemetery as cremation only in which only flat markers will designate grave sites and in which no planted flowers, trees or shrubbery will be allowed.
No lot may contain more than one monument/headstone. Individual graves may have one marker per interment. Monuments and headstones should be kept in alignment with existing structures within the section, and should not be placed in such a way as to obscure the visibility of engravings on neighboring lots. All existing lots not in conformance with this provision shall be considered preexisting, nonconforming lots. No nonconforming lot shall be allowed to add monuments from the effective date of this chapter.
No structure shall be erected for the purpose of enclosing a plot without the approval of the Madison Board of Selectmen.
No objects such as benches, seats, fences, etc., shall be erected without a complete base that keeps grass or weeds from growing underneath. Location of such objects must be approved by the Town Sexton.
No monument or any inscription shall be placed in or upon said lot which shall be determined by the Board of Selectmen, after notice and hearing, to be offensive or improper. The Board of Selectmen may order the removal of said offensive or improper object or cause such and inscription to be removed or obliterated without liability to said owner.
The contractor installing monuments/headstones shall be responsible for installing said monuments/headstones according to standards approved by the Town. The contractor and/or the owner must contact the Town Sexton for proper location and shall be held responsible for improper installation, and no liability on the Town's part shall be incurred for repair of faulty workmanship by private contractors.
The Town shall not remove or allow any monuments/headstones to be moved unless first obtaining permission of the owner, unless said removal is of an emergency nature or for making necessary repairs to the plot and its appurtenances.
The Madison Board of Selectmen shall be empowered to establish fees for the purchasing of plots and perpetual care, paid to the Town of Madison. Said fees shall be available for public inspection in the Town office.
Plots may not be sold, bartered or exchanged by the owners. Ownership may be transferred back to the Town only upon approval of the Madison Board of Selectmen upon such terms as it deems reasonable.
Any and all money collected for the purchase of a lot shall be deposited into the Cemetery Fund. The proceeds of the sales of plots shall be applied solely to the management, superintendence, improvement and maintenance of the cemetery and the avenues, paths, and structures situated therein, and for the purchase of additional cemetery land.
Any and all money collected for perpetual care shall be deposited with the Town Treasurer and invested and held in accordance with 30-A M.R.S.A. § 5706. Unless the instrument creating the trust prohibits, the Treasurer may treat any two or more trust funds as a single fund solely for the purposes of investment. After deduction of management expenses, any interest earned or capital gains realized shall be prorated among the various trust funds. The annual income, and only the annual income, from the trust fund may be expended for the upkeep and maintenance of the lot identified in the trust agreement and any appurtenances to said lot, as well as the general ways, paths and open spaces of the general cemetery in which said lot is located.
The Selectmen shall at the end of each year determine the amount of money to be assessed to each trust account for the maintenance and upkeep of the perpetual care plot. The amount assessed shall be deducted from the annual earnings of each account. Any unexpended income shall be placed in an unexpended income reserve category with the individual accounts. Monies accumulated in the unexpended income reserve category may be expended to cover cost assessed in excess of the annual earning of the account. Cost assessed may include cost other than annual maintenance cost, including but not limited to one-time cost for replacement of monuments and additional work authorized by the Town or owner.
The Town shall be responsible for keeping accurate accounting records on individual trust fund balances, which shall identify on a yearly basis the principal amounts, unexpended income reserve, yearly earnings, yearly maintenance charge, and amount to be added or subtracted from the unexpended income reserve. Said accounts shall be audited and the cost against the trust funds.
The Madison Board of Selectmen shall be responsible for the following items:
If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase in this chapter shall for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decree or decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decree or decision shall not affect or impair the validity of any other action or remaining portion of this chapter.
Passage of this chapter shall supersede and replace any other ordinance, bylaws, rules or regulations concerning cemeteries enacted by the Town or it municipal officers and/or officials.
Any person who continues to violate any provisions of this chapter after receiving notice of such violation shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $100 for each violation. Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. The courts are urged to require restitution in full of person convicted of damage to cemetery property.