Composition. The board of cemetery trustees shall be composed of the mayor and two (2) residents that reside within the incorporated areas of DeFuniak Springs, Florida. The positions, which are held by the residents, shall be filled upon recommendation by the mayor and confirmation by a majority vote of the city council. The term of the two (2) residents shall be for a period of two (2) years and shall be staggered, with the initial term of seat #1 being for a term of one (1) year and with the initial term of Seat #2 being for a term of two (2) years. Both seats shall be for a term of two (2) years thereafter. The mayor shall serve as chairman and other two (2) members of the board shall select a vice-chairman who shall act in the absence or incapacity of the chairman. The city clerk shall take recordings and meeting minutes for the board meetings.
Qualifications. Any resident of the city, who is eighteen (18) years or older, except for funeral directors, monument companies and/or vault companies, and their employees, and any cemetery related business and its employees.
The board of cemetery trustees or their designee shall take and hold in trust for the city, lands conveyed to the board by the city and lands purchased by the board. The board shall make a recommendation to city council, after meeting with city staff, relating to the use, improvement, and beautifying of same and every part thereof, as well as the expenditure of such funds as a hereinafter provided for the board's use.
The board of cemetery trustees or their designee is authorized to purchase, sell, lease or give purchase money mortgages or other security regarding both real and personal property deemed necessary to the proper operation of the cemetery provided, however, the board shall in no way obligate or indebt the city in any manner.
The chairman of the board of cemetery trustees or his designee is hereby empowered and authorized to make, execute and deliver in the name of said board conveyances of cemetery burial plots and to execute such documents necessary to convey the same.
The board of cemetery trustees shall meet every third Tuesday in January, April, July and October of each calendar year at 5:00 pm. The following persons shall be present at each regular meeting: two (2) board members, the city manager and/or assistant city manager, the finance director, the city clerk, the public works director and/or assistant public works director, the municipal services supervisor, and the cemetery grounds supervisor. The finance director shall prepare a quarterly financial statement for each regular meeting.
An annual audit of the city cemetery shall be submitted to the city council for review. The budget of the cemetery shall be submitted to the city council for approval no later than September 1 from the finance director.
For the purpose of this chapter the following terms, phrases, words, abbreviations and their derivations shall have the following meaning herein given. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. Words not defined shall be given their common and ordinary meaning, or for those so included, the meaning found in section 1-2 of the codified ordinances of the city.
Burial plot shall mean a space of ground in a cemetery intended to be used for the interment in the ground of human remains. The size of burial plots shall be 5 feet x 10 feet in Sections A—I, 4 feet x 10 feet in Sections K—S, more or less.
Cemetery shall mean a place within the city, owned or under lease to the city, used or intended to be used for the permanent interment of human remains.
Columbarium means a structure consisting of small vaults or niches for urns containing cremated remains. The columbarium shall be located in Block J of the cemetery only.
Dawn to dusk shall mean 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. during day light savings time and 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Central Standard Time during regular time.
Grave blocks shall mean a series of contiguous burial lots as platted.
Indigent shall mean in a general sense, one (1) who is poor, needy, impoverished or destitute and does not have the financial resources to purchase a burial plot.
Lot shall mean an individual burial plot or group of contiguous burial plots not to exceed twelve (12).
Marker shall mean a ground level marker either used as a headstone or foot marker used to identify a grave site not to exceed twelve (12) inches in width and twenty-four (24) inches in length.
Memorial vase means retractable or removable memorial vase to assist with mowing and maintenance.
Monument shall mean any product used for identifying a grave site and cemetery memorials of all types, including monuments, markers and vases.
Niche means a space in a columbarium used or intended to be used for the interment of cremated human remains.
Perpetual care shall mean the general upkeep of the cemetery grounds including, but not limited to maintenance of roadways, mowing, removal of dead trees, etc. but specifically excludes the care of privately owned individual gravesites.
Urn shall mean a receptacle designed to permanently encase one (1) individual's cremated remains.
Vault shall mean an outer burial container or enclosure into which a casket or cremation urn is placed and includes, but is not limited to, vaults made of concrete, steel, or equivalent material.
Vehicle shall mean any wheeled conveyance, whether motor powered, animal-drawn or self-propelled. The term shall include any trailer in tow of any size, kind or description. Exception is made for baby carriages, wheel chairs, and vehicles in the service of the city vault installers, monument installers and funeral directors.
Willfully mark, deface, disfigure, injure, tamper with, use inappropriately, or displace or remove, any buildings, benches, paving or paving material, water lines, irrigation systems or other public utilities or parts or appurtenances thereof, signs, notices or placards whether temporary or permanent, monuments, stakes, posts or other boundary markers, fences, gates, copings, curbings, head markers, tombstones, vault covers, slabs, vases or other monuments or structures within any city cemetery.
Dig, remove, or disturb any soil, shell, rock, stones, trees, shrubs or plants, or construct or erect any building or structure, coping, curbing, monument, marker, tombstone, vault cover, slabs, or other structure without obtaining the required permit from the board of cemetery trustees or their designee. All persons, other than owner of said plot, shall acquire a permit before work is performed. Permission to remove a dead tree or shrub shall be at the discretion of the cemetery board's designee or the cemetery grounds supervisor and public works director without prior approval from the cemetery board. Permit fees are established by resolution of the city council.
Damage, cut, carve, transplant or remove any tree, shrub, plant(s), floral arrangements or injure the bark, pick the flowers or seeds, of any tree or plant. A person shall not dig in or otherwise disturb grass areas, or in any other way injure or impair the natural beauty or usefulness of any area. The city shall have the right to trim and maintain all trees and shrubs that extend into the rights-of-way. Individual(s) have the right to maintain existing trees and shrubs on their family designated lot.
Climb any tree or walls, stand or sit upon monuments, vases, fountains, railing, fences, or gates, copings, curbings, head markers, tombstones, vault covers, slabs or upon any other property not designated or customarily used for such purposes. There shall be "No Trespassing Signs" installed on cemetery grounds and those in violation shall be fined fifty dollars ($50.00) or five (5) hours of community service for the first occurrence, and shall double for each additional violation.
Allow the entry of any horse, dog, cat or other domestic animal inside any city cemetery. This section shall not apply to any dog trained to aid disabled or handicapped persons, when such dog is actually being used in such capacity.
Hunt, molest, harm, frighten, kill, trap, chase, tease, shoot or throw missiles at any animal, reptile or bird; nor shall he remove or have in his possession the young of any wild animal, or the eggs or nest, or young of any reptile or bird.
Excavate and/or dig a burial or cremation interment location unless an approved cemetery permit has been obtained from the board of trustees or their designee and shall not be excavated or dug until the day of the interment service.
No person in any city cemetery shall have brought in or shall dump, deposit or leave any bottles, glass, ashes, paper, boxes, cans, dirt, rubbish, waste, garbage, or refuse, or any other trash. No such refuse or trash shall be left anywhere on the grounds thereof, but shall be placed in the proper receptacles where provided; where receptacles are not provided, all such rubbish or trash shall be carried away from the cemetery by the person responsible for its presence, and properly disposed of elsewhere.
Fail to comply with all applicable provisions of the state motor vehicle traffic laws in regard to equipment and operation of vehicles together with such regulations are contained in this and other ordinances.
Fail to obey all traffic officers, city employees, or funeral directors, such persons being hereby authorized and instructed to direct traffic whenever and wherever needed in any city cemetery and on the highways, streets or roads immediately adjacent thereto in accordance with the provisions of these regulations.
Fail to observe carefully any and all traffic signs or markings indicating speed, direction, caution, stopping, or parking, and all others posted for proper control and to safeguard life and property.
Ride or drive a vehicle on established roadways, if applicable, at a rate of speed exceeding five (5) miles an hour, except upon such roads as the city may designate, by posted signs, for faster travel.
Drive any vehicle on any area except the established roadways, paved roads, parking areas, or such other areas as may on occasion be specifically designated as temporary parking areas by the city. Rights-of-way between grave blocks are for pedestrian use only and their use by vehicles, other than those required for maintenance by the city or for installations of facilities under direction of the city, is prohibited.
Park a vehicle in other than an established or designated parking area, and such use shall be for the purpose of attending funeral, grave site visits, maintenance by the city, or other official business.
Leave a vehicle standing or parked at night.
Double-park any vehicle on any road or parkway unless directed by a city official.
Ride a bicycle on the grounds or property of any city cemetery except to attend funeral or visit a gravesite. Any other, to include cut through access, shall be deemed trespassing traffic.
Enter an area posted as "Closed to the Public," nor shall any person use, or abet the use of any area in violation of posted notices.
Sleep or protractedly lounge on the seats, or benches, or other areas, or engage in loud, boisterous, threatening, abusive, insulting, indecent language, or engage in any disorderly conduct or behavior tending to be a breach of the public peace.
Disturb or interfere unreasonably with any person or party lawfully present in any city cemetery.
Expose or offer for sale any article or thing, nor shall he station or place any stand, cart, or vehicle for the transportation, sale or display of any such article or thing.
Announce, advertise, or call the public attention in any way to any article or service for sale or hire. Funeral tents are exempt but shall be removed within five (5) days of the burial.
Paste, glue, tack or otherwise post any sign, placard, advertisement, or inscription whatsoever, nor shall any person erect or cause to be erected any sign whatsoever on any public lands or highways or roads adjacent to any city cemetery.
Install a political sign on the cemetery property.
Burial plots shall be purchased and used only for the purpose of burial of human remains. A certificate of right of interment shall be issued with each sale. There shall be no discrimination in the sale of burial plots, on any basis.
No person shall sell or transfer a burial plot that has been issued by the DeFuniak Springs Cemetery Board of Trustees.
The City of DeFuniak Springs Cemetery Board of Trustees or their designee shall be the only entity authorized to sell burial plots within a city cemetery. The city clerk shall prepare a certificate of interment rights, with the chairman of board of trustees approving such permanent record for said city owned cemetery. All transfers of warranty deeds or certificates of interment rights to heirs, successors, and assigns by will or otherwise will be effectuated by the city upon a showing of satisfactory documentation, as deemed satisfactory in the sole discretion of the city, of the party requesting transfer being the actual heir, successor, or assign of the owner. Such transfers shall be made on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to internment of spouses, parents, and children of those already interred in a specific plot. The city shall defer to any probate order(s) that exist in making these determinations. A person in possession of the original warranty deed or certificate of interment rights to the city, and who provides legal documentation stating they are the sole heir to the original purchaser shall be transferred all remaining burial plots of the original purchaser. The city shall issue a new certificate of interment rights and then such certificate will be recorded as a new permanent record for the city owned cemetery when such transfers occur.
Persons desiring to dispose of unused burial plots or niches within any city cemetery must surrender the original warranty deed or certificate of interment rights to the board of trustees or their designee, provide legal documentation stating they are the sole heir of the burial plot(s) or niche(s) and may be reimbursed by the city for the original purchase price of the burial plot or niche, after approval from the board of trustees has been provided. (Monies deposited into the perpetual care fund are non-refundable.) If the original burial plots/niches purchaser is deceased, no reimbursement shall be made to the heirs, successors, and/or assigns unless a written notarized notice from all heirs has been received by the board of trustees or their designee naming one (1) person sole heir along with appropriate legal documentation. If said persons desiring to dispose of an unused burial plot/niche that does not have or cannot obtain an original warranty deed or certificate of interment rights, the person(s) shall provide legal documentation stating they are the sole heir of such burial plot/niche and request the remaining unused burial plots be returned to the board of trustees with no reimbursement being made for said burial plot(s) and/or niche(s).
A limited number of burial plots are reserved to Walton County indigent residents and are available based on financial need. The board of cemetery trustees or the city clerk shall receive an authorization letter from the Walton County Board of County Commissioners for the interment of the indigent remains, and a completed Magnolia Cemetery Permit from the funeral home director. All indigent burials shall follow all guidelines as outlined in this ordinance and the Magnolia Cemetery Permit Policy, including permit fee and unmarked grave marker fee, including, but not limited to, a twenty-four-hour notice prior to interment.
Within the indigent section, all spaces shall not exceed twelve (12) inches x twelve (12) inches. There shall be no trinkets, benches, statues installed in the indigent section by relatives or friends. A twelve (12) inch x twelve (12) inch x six (6) inch marker may be installed at each burial site by a relative or friend.
No private sprinkler or sprinkler systems are allowed. Existing sprinklers or sprinkler systems will not be allowed to run over two (2) hours a day. If a person or persons violate this privilege, the water service could be disrupted for three (3) consecutive days and have a penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first offense, fifty dollars ($50.00) for the second offense, and one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the third offense and for each subsequent offense(s).
Refuse, dead flowers or faded artificial arrangements and other litter shall be removed to designated disposal areas. Plants, floral arrangements or other matter shall not be placed on the rights-of-way in any city cemetery.
Temporary markers shall be removed when permanent markers are placed. Temporary markers cannot be used in lieu of permanent markers. Temporary markers will be removed when they become illegible or within three (3) months whichever comes first. The city reserves the right to install a marker on an unmarked grave for identification purposes. When applying for a Magnolia Cemetery burial permit, a one hundred dollar ($100.00) deposit will be charged to the funeral home, if no existing grave marker is present at the time of interment. If a permanent marker is installed within ninety (90) days from the interment date, the one hundred dollar ($100.00) deposit will be refunded to the funeral home at the first of the month following when the permanent marker was installed. If a permanent marker is not installed within ninety (90) days after interment, the city shall purchase a 12 inch x 12 inch x 6 inch marker with the deceased name, birth year, and death year and no refund will be issued to the funeral home.
The city reserves the right to install a marker on an unmarked grave for identification purposes.
If existing enclosures or curbing's are not properly maintained they may be removed at the direction of the board of cemetery trustees or their designee.
Small potted plants or floral arrangements may be placed on burial plots as long as they are not excessive. The city reserves the right to remove any plants or other matter that have become unsightly. The city shall remove any items, including, but not limited, to PVC piping, concrete blocks, or other material, that may hinder the maintenance of the cemetery.
All enclosure methods and materials shall be approved by the cemetery board or designee. All coping and monuments shall be installed within the specified plot, with the monument companies and/or funeral homes being responsible for all adjustments.
Burial plot enclosures, fences, curbing's, slabs of any kind, plants or potted plants, trees, flowers (other than what is in the permanent vases on the headstones), statues, stands, easels, wreaths, pictures, ornaments, jewelry, stuffed animals, glass, cans of any kind, etc., and coping are prohibited because they inhibit proper care and maintenance of burial plots. Unless removed by family or friends within five (5) days after interment, floral arrangements or other displays will be removed by city staff or his/her agent. The items shall be held for fourteen (14) days at the cemetery office. The city shall reserve the right to remove any item that is not in keeping with general appearance of the cemetery.
Monuments are limited to a three-foot length base for a single burial plot, the height is limited to three (3) feet, and the width is limited to twelve (12) inches. Multiple burial plots monuments are limited to no more than seventy-five (75) percent of the width of the land purchased with the same height and width limits of a single burial plot. Veteran foot markers shall be placed at ground level only. Such markers shall not exceed twelve (12) inches in width and twenty-four (24) inches in length and shall be flush with grounds. No marker other than veteran foot markers shall be permitted.
Flower vases must be permanently attached to the base of the headstone. No other vases will be allowed. If a ground marker is used only one (1) holder for flowers shall be attached.
The city does not recommend and will not be responsible for pictures or items placed on or around the grave.
Niches shall be purchased and used only for the purpose of interment of human remains. A certificate of right of interment shall be issued with each sale. There shall be no discrimination in the sale of niches on any basis.
Plaques are limited to the following description: bronze plate, dark finish, bevel edged, flat face letters, and must be eight (8) inches in length by three (3) inches in height.
Temporary plaques shall be permitted until interment is complete. Temporary plaques shall be removed when permanent plaques are placed. Temporary plaques cannot be used in lieu of permanent plaques. Temporary plaques will be removed when they become illegible or when interment is complete, whichever comes first.
Items such as pictures, flowers, memorabilia or any other items of any kind may not be placed on or around the columbarium. The city will not be responsible for any loss or damage to such items. The city shall remove any pictures, flowers, memorabilia or any other items of any kind that is placed on or around the columbarium.
Memorial Gardens. Four (4) memorial gardens, each with one (1) bench and landscaping provided and maintained by the city, shall be located in sections K through S. Locations are as follows: Section L Lots 137 and 138, Section N Lots 134, 135, 138, 139, Section Plots 134, 135, 138, 139, and Section R Lots 134, 135, 138, 139.
Except for unusual and unforeseen emergencies, any city cemetery shall be open to the public every day of the year from dawn to dusk. The opening and closing hours for each individual cemetery shall be posted therein for public information.
Any section or part of any city cemetery may be declared closed to the public by the board of cemetery trustees, or their designee, at any time and for any interval of time, either temporarily or at regular and stated intervals (daily or otherwise), as the board of cemetery trustees or their designee shall find reasonably necessary.
A Magnolia Cemetery burial permit shall be made to the board of cemetery trustees or their designee, by the funeral director twenty-four (24) hours prior to interment. This shall include a burial transit permit for the deceased, and a permit fee as set by resolution of the city council.
No grave/niche will be opened and no deceased person shall be interred in any city cemetery unless the city consents thereto and is in compliance with the following:
A state issued burial transit permit has been received by the board of cemetery trustees or their designee;
The burial plot/niche has been fully paid or determination of indigence has been made in accordance with section 6-11(e) of this Code;
The person arranging for such burial has proper authority to so act;
Thereafter the city will verify ownership. If verified, the city will cause the burial plot/niche to be marked and consent issued.
The funeral director shall give notice no less than twenty-four (24) working hours during regular business hours Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in advance of a burial. On Thursday's, cut-off time will be 12:00 noon to allow time for layout of the plot. Any request after 12:00 noon on Thursday, including holidays, involving work beyond normal business hours, will be billed to the funeral home at the employee's said pay rate by one and a half times.
A burial permit shall be issued to the funeral home director with a burial permit fee being paid prior to any work being performed. The burial permit fee shall be set by resolution and adopted by the city council. All permit fees for the installation of a veteran marker shall be waived, however, a burial permit is still required. A burial permit is valid for a period of thirty (30) days. A burial permit is required to be on all person(s) while performing work within a city cemetery.
A person or persons to whom consent has been given for burial shall be bound by all city cemetery rules and regulations and all applicable ordinances.
The person or persons to whom consent for burial has been given shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury sustained by any person whatever by reason of the negligence of the person or persons to whom such consent shall have been given.
The board of cemetery trustees, or their designee, shall have the authority to revoke a Magnolia Cemetery burial permit upon finding any violation, any rule, resolution or ordinance, or upon good cause shown. The cemetery trustees or their designee may deny access to the cemetery grounds in the future.
The city shall keep full and complete records of ownership of all burial plots/niches in any city cemetery; the burial capacity of each burial plot/niche, interred or not interred; the location of each burial plot/niche that has been or shall hereafter be used; and of the name of the deceased, date of birth and date of death of each plot/niche.
The city shall not be responsible for any major damage caused during normal maintenance activities.
The city shall not be responsible for owners of burial plots/ niches performing maintenance activities in a city owned cemetery.
Hereafter, burial plots must have a minimum of eighteen (18) inches of earth above each vault and shall not exceed the elevation of the surrounding area.
Interments within burial plots shall be centered to ensure preservation of the symmetry for future tombstones, markers, or other monuments.
Hereafter each and every burial casket shall be contained in a vault that meets the specifications of this ordinance.
After each burial turf, (if any), must be replaced and the ground leveled in a work manlike manner with as little disturbance to surrounding areas as possible. Excess waste materials present after a burial shall be disposed of in designated areas as directed by the cemetery grounds supervisor.
The vault shall be made of concrete, steel, or other equivalent material and the cost of such shall be the sole responsibility of the burial plot owner. Such vault shall be of specifications and weight so as to prevent cave-ins. Only one(1) vault will be permitted on each burial plot unless the vault is for cremation human remains, where two (2) cremation urn vaults shall be installed per burial plot. A cremation urn vault shall not exceed twenty-four (24) inches by twenty-four (24) inches in size.
Tombstones, markers, or other monuments must be leveled, and aligned within burial plot perimeters so as to not infringe on adjacent burial plots or rights-of-way. Erection of tombstones, markers, and other monuments must be in accordance with acceptable standards so that they will not settle or tilt. The board of trustees, or their designee, have the authority to contact family members of the deceased to have the monument, tombstone, maker repaired prior to damage of marker. If no contact can be made, the cemetery grounds supervisor has the authority to remove the monument from the gravesite and place in storage until a relative or friend inquiries about said monument. The city is not responsible or liable for any damage that occurs to monuments that have tilted or fallen.
Disinterment shall be in accordance with the laws of the state and permission must be obtained in advance from the board of cemetery trustees, or their designee. Disinterment of a person shall require written authorization from the individual or individuals who currently own the burial (interment) rights for the burial space from which the disinterment of the decedent is to take place and written authorization from the individual(s) who, at the time of the disinterment is to be made, would be permitted to authorize the burial of the decedent. A disinterment shall not be considered until the board or trustees or their designee, receives a court order instructing a disinterment maybe performed on the decedent.
Any person found in violation of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the first offense, one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for the second offense, and two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for the third offense. If a third offense is determined, termination rights to pull a permit or work within Magnolia Cemetery will be effective for a sixty (60) day time frame. Each day any violation of any provision of the ordinance continues shall constitute a separate offense. One (1) hour of community service may be warranted for each increment ten dollar ($10.00) charge.
The trust created herein is for the use and benefit of the city and shall remain in force and effect until duly revoked by the city council, at which time the title and possession of all trust properties, both real and personal, shall revert to the city.