Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

February 5, 2013

Altamont Council discusses cemetery ordinance

ALTAMONT — There haven't been many rules on how Union Cemetery in Altamont must be maintained.

"There is a cemetery ordinance, but it's been limited to cost and interment rules," said City Commissioner Jason Williams, who oversees the cemetery on behalf of the City Council.

Williams said, however, that increasing difficulty in maintaining the cemetery is causing city officials to consider new rules on what can be used as a decoration or planting. He added the issue is not a new one.

"We've been thinking about this for some time," Williams said. "It's been a point of discussion that we can do better."

Williams conducted a public hearing Monday on the issue that drew about a half-dozen residents. He told the group the revised ordinance will be aimed primarily at ground decorations, such as solar lights and memorial plaques.

"Ground decorations make it hard to maintain," he said. "We've looked at what other cities are doing, but we wanted to see what the public had to say."

As it turned out, members of the public who were there had few questions. Local historian Alvin Oliver said one thing that would enhance the cemetery's appearance would be to fill in the cemetery's low spots.

"There ought to be a program where you fill in the sunken spots," Oliver said. "It would make it easier to mow."

Oliver said one problem is that many families own six- or eight-person lots that only have two graves.

"You don't see big families any more and family members don't come back here to be buried like they used to," he added.

Resident Jerry Jones said he gets lots of positive comments about the cemetery.

"People ask me where people are buried and always make a comment on how good the cemetery looks," Jones said.

"Overall, I think it's a nice cemetery," added resident Charlene Calhoun.

Williams said floral arrangements on approved monument vases, as well as saddles on monuments, will still be allowed at any time, as will fresh-cut flowers in approved vases.

But ground decorations and potted plants will only be allowed five days before or after Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day or Father's Day. Williams said shepherd hooks were on the original list of banned items, but he said that ban would hurt the florist business. Instead, shepherd hooks will be limited to one per monument.

The ordinance would also include a ban on any planting without city permission. Moreover, the ordinance would ban anyone other than nursery or city personnel from planting. Resident Joan Fitzwilliam questioned that provision during the hearing.

"I know a lot of people who know how to plant a tree," Fitzwilliam said.

"We just want to make sure it's done right," said Williams.

Williams said winter decorations will be allowed between Oct. 31 and March 15. Moreover, he said, the rules will be relaxed for new graves.

"I think we need to have some compassion," he said. "We'll let people put fresh flowers on new graves. We're not going to be hiding behind the fence waiting for the end of the burial."

Williams said the city would, however, remove flowers on new graves after the flowers died.

Williams said the ordinance would be read at next Monday's council meeting, but would be held over for passage until the Feb. 25 meeting.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • tony- app maker 1.jpg Dieterich grad markets word game application

    Dalton Hinterscher is something of a Renaissance man in the making.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • MIller, Jay C 021314.jpg Miller sentenced to 17 years in heroin death

     An Altamont man was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison in connection with the fatal heroin overdose of an Effingham woman earlier this year.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • No Headline Provided SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Here are the winning numbers selected Wednesday in the Illinois State Lottery:My 3-Midday6-2-4My 3-Evening4-7-5Pick Three-Midday4-8-0Fireball: 3Pick Three-Evening5-6-0Fireball: 4Pick Four-Midday3-5-5-1Fireball: 2Pick Four-Evening6-

    July 31, 2014

  • tony- dieterich app maker pic Dieterich grad markets word game application TONY HUFFMANDaily NewsDalton Hinterscher is something of a Renaissance man in the making.A former standout basketball player at Dieterich High School, Hinterscher followed his intellectual pursuits into college. Entering his second year as a Software

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.