TOWN OF RUSH VALLEY
ORDINANCE NUMBER 2006 -06

Cemetery Regulations
Cemetery Purchase Fees

An Ordinance Revising the Cemetery Regulations for the Town of Rush Valley, Utah. 

Be it Enacted and Ordained by the Town Council of Rush Valley, Utah as follows:

SECTION 1:  PURPOSE. 

          The purpose of the Ordinance is to establish a comprehensive policy for the administration of the Cemeteries within the corporate limits of the Town of Rush Valley, Utah.

SECTION 2:   REPEAL.

           This Ordinance will repeal Ordinance Number 86-2, an Ordinance regulating the sale of cemetery lots within the corporate limits of the Town of Rush Valley, Utah, and any other Ordinance in conflict with the provisions of this Ordinance, but nothing in the repeal shall void any rights already granted or vested.

SECTION 3: DEFINITIONS.

           The following definitions are given in order to clarify the regulations which follow:

            1.        PLOT - is defined as being one burial space.  5' 5" x 8'.

            2.        LOT - an area having 6 burial spaces and a square measure of 16.5 by 16.5 feet.

            3.         BLOCK - any designated area of the Cemetery Maps which separate areas within
                        cemeteries having more than one lot. 

            4.        PLAT - is defined as the overall view or containment survey of an entire Town Cemetery.
 
            5.        TOWN - the term “TOWN” as hereinafter used in this ordinance shall mean the Town of Rush Valley, Utah, whether or not so designated.

            6.         COUNCIL OR TOWN COUNCIL - the term “COUNCIL” or “TOWN COUNCIL” shall mean the elected officials who have legislative and administrative control over the affairs of The Town of Rush Valley, Utah.

            7.        PERSON - the term “PERSON” shall mean individual, group, partnership, firm, corporation or association.

            8.        SEXTON - the term “SEXTON” shall mean the appointed keeper of the Town Cemetery affairs including all written records as appointed by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Town Council.

            9.         CEMETERY - the term “CEMETERY” shall mean any cemetery owned and/or maintained by the Town of Rush Valley for the purpose of receiving the remains of deceased humans.  Also see Section 4.

            10.       LOT OR GRAVE OWNER OR PURCHASER - the term “LOT OWNER” or “PURCHASER” and “GRAVE OWNER” or “PURCHASER” are intended to mean and shall be construed to mean the owner or purchaser of a burial privilege, or the collateral right of use of any burial lot, evidenced by a Deed or certificate for a lot or by proved and recognized descent or devise from the original owner.

SECTION  4:  NAME.

           The burial grounds of the Town of Rush Valley, Utah, shall be known and designated by the name of the area in which they have historically been located, e.g. Clover Area or St. John Area.

SECTION  5:  INTERMENTS PROHIBITED.

           There shall be no interment of anything other than the remains of human bodies in Town Cemeteries and no interment of any deceased human shall be made in any other place than within cemeteries devoted to that purpose.  Exception to this will recognize the rights of private “Family Cemeteries” which existed and were maintained for that purpose prior to this ordinance.

SECTION  6:   VAULTS REQUIRED.

           It shall be unlawful for any person to be buried in the Rush Valley Town Cemetery unless the casket shall be placed in a concrete, steel or brick lined vault substantially constructed and covered with a substantial concrete or steel top or lid.  No wood shall be used in the construction of any part of any vault.

SECTION 7:  SALE SUBJECT TO RULES.

           Every lot or single grave sold is subject to rules and regulations that may hereafter be adopted and subject to such changes of the present rules as are found necessary, for the protection of lot owners and the remains of the dead.

SECTION 8:  CARE RESERVED.

           The Town reserves the right to enter upon any grave and to perform all work necessary for the care and upkeep of all lots and graves in said cemeteries.

SECTION 9:   ORDERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

           Under no circumstances will the Town assume responsibilities for errors in opening graves when orders are given by telephone.

SECTION 10:   PERMIT, DISINTERMENT, CONTAGIOUS DISEASE.

           It shall be unlawful for any person to bury the body of a deceased person in the Rush Valley Town Cemetery without first paying for and obtaining, as herein provided, a certificate of purchase of the lot used, or if he or she does not own or purchase the lot, without furnishing a written permit from the owner or nearest relative of the owner thereof, which permit shall be filed with the Rush Valley Town Clerk.  It shall be unlawful for any person to disinter any body buried in a town cemetery, except under the direction of the Rush Valley Town Sexton; and before disinterment of any body, the Rush Valley Town Sexton shall require a permit from the Tooele County Health Officer and a written order from the owner of the lot, authorizing such removal, which order shall be filed and preserved and all such removals shall be recorded in a book kept for that purpose.  It shall be unlawful for any person to remove the body of a person who has died from a contagious disease within two years from the date of burial, except such a body has been buried in a hermetically sealed coffin and is found to be so incased.

SECTION 11:   REGISTRATION OF BURIALS.

           The Town Clerk of Rush Valley Town, Utah, shall be the registrar of burials for Rush Valley Town, and before burying any dead in any Town-owned Cemetery within the corporate limits of said Town, or before disinterring for transportation beyond the corporate limits of said Town, the body of any of said body shall be required to furnish in writing to said Clerk, a statement of said death, which shall be recorded in a record kept for that purpose by said clerk.  Such statements as well as the record shall include the name of the person deceased, when and where born, if known, the date of death and the cause of thereof, together with the name of the attending physician, if any, coroner or mid-wife, also the date of burial as well as the name of the cemetery, with the initial letter of the plat as well as the number of the block or lot where said person is buried, and the place of destination if disinterred and transferred beyond the limits of Rush Valley Town Cemetery. 

SECTION 12:   OFFICE OF SEXTON.

           There is hereby created the Office of Town Sexton which office shall be filled by appointment of the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Town Council.

SECTION 13:   CEMETERY SUPERINTENDENCE.

           The Town Sexton under the direction of the Mayor Town Council shall have entire control and superintendence of the Town Cemeteries and shall perform such other duties in relation to cemeteries as may be hereafter provided by the laws of the State of Utah or by ordinance, order or resolution of the Mayor or Town Council.

SECTION  14:   ADDITIONAL DUTIES.

           The Sexton shall keep in proper repair the enclosure around the said cemeteries and prevent its being entered by animals, and so far as practical prevent the destruction or defacing of any tablet or maker placed or erected therein.  He shall have charge of a duplicate plat of the cemetery and shall, at the request of any person wishing to purchase any of the lot or parts of lots, point out any of the lots or parts of lots unoccupied and for sale; and upon the disposal of any lots, or part thereof shall notify the Town Clerk of the fact, whose duty it shall be to draw a certificate authorizing a burial, after payment of the lot prices has been received in the Town Treasury, which certificate shall be presented to the Mayor for execution.

SECTION 15:   OPENING OF GRAVES; ADDITIONAL DUTIES.

           The Sexton shall open without delay any graves in said cemetery upon application to him or her being made by the Town Clerk or by any person having the right to make such application.  The Sexton shall superintend every interment and shall cause the lot to be filled up and neatly trimmed immediately after depositing the coffin and shall fill up and neatly trim all graves that have settled or may hereafter settle.  The Sexton shall register the names, ages, parentage, and place of birth, if known, of all persons therein, the place of their interment, the cause of death, the name of attending physician or nurse.

           It shall be the duty of the Town Sexton to perform those duties required by law and this ordinance, and to remove floral pieces or displays left on any grave as he or she deems it necessary to the appearance of the cemetery, but such floral pieces or displays shall not be moved sooner than five (5) days after original placement except in an emergency.

SECTION 16:   ENFORCEMENT OF RULES: ADDITIONAL DUTIES.

           It shall be the duty of the Town Sexton to see that the owners of lots within the cemetery obey all rules and regulations made by the Town Council in regard to the care of said lots and in regard to the erection of fences or other obstructions and to enforce all other regulations herein provided.  The Sexton shall keep the streets, alleys, walks and avenues in said cemetery in good order and unobstructed, so that every access can be used to any lot.

SECTION 17:   ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS.

           The Town Sexton is hereby authorized, with the approval of the Mayor and the Town Council to make and enforce such other reasonable rules and regulations for the proper care and protection of the cemetery not in conflict with the provisions of this ordinance.

SECTION 18:   PRIVATE ADDITIONS TO CEMETERY GROUNDS.

           It shall be unlawful for any person to erect or maintain any fence, corner post, coping hedge or boundary of any kind upon any lot or lots, street, alley or walk ins aid cemetery, or grade the ground or land thereof.  The Town Sexton shall whenever required furnish the true lines of any lots according to official survey, and shall prevent and prohibit any marking of the same save and except by official landmarks, and shall prevent and prohibit any grading thereof that might destroy or interfere with the general slope of the land.  It shall be unlawful for any person to plant any shrubs, tress, lawns, etc. or place any monuments or markers upon any lot or lots in said cemetery, without a written permit first having been obtained from the Town Sexton, and unless the same is done under the direction and supervision of the Town Sexton.

SECTION 19:   PLACEMENT OF MARKS.

           It shall be unlawful for any person to erect or place or cause to be placed any marker or markers of any lot in said cemetery unless the same is placed on a good concrete foundation six inches deep or deeper, and such marker shall be placed or erected under the supervision of the Town Sexton.  The markers must be securely set in a cement foundation and with a cement lawn strip not less than 6 inches wide around such marker.  There shall be no other monuments or other structures placed upon any lot or lots, except as provided in Section 20.

SECTION 20:   RAISED MARKERS.

           In those areas reserved for raised markers, such markers may be placed under the same conditions as are required for flush markers, except that the foundation for raised markers shall be eight inches deep or deeper.  Raised markers shall not exceed thirty-six inches in height above the lawn.

SECTION 21:   BURIALS TO BE IN CEMETERIES.

           It shall be unlawful to bury the body of any person within the limits of Rush Valley Town, except in public or private cemeteries located therein, unless by special permission of the Rush Valley Town Council.

SECTION 22:   RESTRICTIONS OF RESALE.

           After the date upon which this ordinance becomes effective no person who shall subsequently purchase any grave or lot within a Town Cemetery, shall sell such grave or lot to any buyer, except to the Town of Rush Valley.  The Town of Rush Valley hereby agrees to buy back any grave lot which it may hereafter sell.  The repurchase price of such graves or lots shall be the original price paid by the purchaser, or the current selling price of said lot, whichever is lower, but in no event shall the repurchase price be greater than the price originally paid by the purchaser

SECTION 23:   SALE OF LOTS.

           The Clerk and Sexton are hereby empowered to sell lots in the Rush Valley Town Cemeteries, and to collect all sums arising from said sales.  All money so collected shall be remitted promptly to the Town Clerk.  The Town Council is hereby empowered to regulate by resolution the selling price and size of the lots, and the amount to be paid therefor.  The Sexton or Town Clerk shall deliver to each purchaser a Certificate for each lot or part of lot, showing the description thereof by lot and block, and stating the price therefor.  Said Certificates shall be issued and signed by the Mayor and shall be attested by the Town Clerk.  All lots or parts of lots, as in this section provided, together with all improvements, shall be exempt from execution, and from taxation and assessment for care and maintenance charges from and after said payment.  The payments mentioned in this section shall be construed to be in payment of all services described in sections of this ordinance.  Since Town real property taxes support Rush Valley Town Cemeteries, only current or former residents shall be allowed to purchase Town cemetery lots.  The lot owner may, however, by written authority allow a non-resident to be interned in that lot.

SECTION 24:   COLLECTION OF FEES.

           The Town Clerk or Sexton is hereby authorized and required to collect in advance, prices and/or fees for the opening and closing of graves which shall include property restoring and trimming such graves; for disinterring bodies and properly restoring the earth and grounds; for recording each burial, disinterment or removal, for raised monument privileges; and other services rendered as determined by the Town Council by resolution as it from time to time seems reasonable and proper for that body to do so.

SECTION 25:   FEE TO BE PAID FOR OPENING GRAVE

           No grave shall be opened in any of the cemeteries of the Town of Rush Valley until the payment of a fee for the labor and expense in so opening said grave shall be paid.  The presentation of a receipt from the Town Clerk, when presented to the Town Sexton, shall be his authority to open a grave for the burial of a deceased person.  The fee requirement may be waived by declaration of any individual, fraternal organization or church group who will volunteer to accept this obligation without charge.  Under no circumstances, however, will this service be provided except under the direct supervision of the Town Sexton.

SECTION 26:   CARE INCLUDED.

           The essential care that the Town agrees to give shall consist of care of the cemetery generally, and shall include, but is not limited to mowing of all lots and graves at reasonable intervals, filling in sunken graves, removing dead flowers and trimming trees and shrubbery when necessary, raking and cleaning lots and straightening of tilting stones or markers, but shall not include repair or replacement of markers or memorial structures of any nature, except when the need for repair or replacement is directly caused by Rush Valley Town or its employees.

SECTION 27:   UNUSED OR UNKEPT LOTS - NOTICE PROCEDURES.

           (1)  If the Town of Rush Valley has conveyed cemetery lots or parcels by deed or certificate with or without restrictions, and the grantee, or persons claiming through the grantee, for more than 60 years: 

(a) have not used portions of the lots or parcels for purposes of burial and have not provided for the care of the lots or parcels beyond that uniformly provided for all lots of the cemetery, and during the 60-year period have not given the Town written notice of any claim or interest in the lots or parcels; or 

(b) have not used a portion of the lots or parcels for purposes of burial and have not kept the lots or parcels free of weeds or brush, but have allowed it to remain entirely unimproved for more than 20 years, and the lots or parcels are located in the portion of the cemetery where they adjoin or are adjacent to improved parts of the cemetery and by reason of their unimproved condition detract from the appearance of the cemetery, interfere with its harmonious improvements, and furnish a place for the growth of weeds and brush, then the Town may demand of the grantee or persons claiming through the grantee either of the following: 

           `           (i) that they file with the Town written notice of claim or interest in and to the lots or parcels recorded by evidence of their claim of ownership within 50 days after the service of a copy of the notice of demand; or 

(ii) that they keep the premises clear of weeds and in a condition of harmony with other adjoining lots. 

  (2)  The Town shall serve a copy of the demand or notice required by Subsection (1) on the grantee or persons claiming through the grantee in accordance with the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure. 

   (3)  If either the grantee, or person claiming through the grantee, fails to comply with the demand or notice, the Town may bring an action in the district court of the county in which the cemetery is located against all parties who have not responded to the notice for the purpose of terminating the rights of the parties in the lots or parcels and restoring the lots or parcels to the Town, free of any right, title, or interest of the grantee, persons claiming through the grantee, their heirs, or assigns. Any action to reclaim title to grave sites, parcels, or lots shall be brought and determined in the same manner as actions concerning other real property. The portion of any grave site, lot, or parcel in which a body is buried may not be included in any action to revest title to the lot, site, or parcel in the Town, and the grave site in which a body is interred shall remain undisturbed together with any adjoining property so as to allow the proper approach to the grave site. 

   (4)  The fact that the grantee or holder of a lot or parcel in a cemetery has not used portions of the lots or parcels for the purpose of burial for more than 60 years shall be prima facie evidence that the grantee or holder had abandoned the lots or parcels if during that time the grantee or holder: 

(a) has not provided the care to the lots or parcels provided uniformly to all lots parcels within the cemetery; 

(b) has not given to the Town a written notice of claim or interest in the lots or parcels; or 

(c) has not kept the lots or parcels free of weeds or brush. 

(5)   A certified copy of the judgment in the action to revest title to cemetery lots, sites, or parcels shall be filed with the county recorder in the county in which the lots, sites, or parcels are located. 

(6)  The proceeds from the subsequent resale of any lot or parcel, title to which has been revested in the Town under the foregoing provisions, less the costs and expenses incurred in the proceeding, shall become part of the permanent care and improvement fund of the Town Cemetery, subject to subsequent disposition under Utah Code Title 10, Chapter 5, Uniform Fiscal Procedures Act for Utah Towns, Title 10, Chapter 6, Uniform Fiscal Procedures Act for Utah Cities. 

(7)  The owner, grantee, or person claiming through the grantee shall have the right, on presentation of the certificate of title or right to burial to the Town of Rush Valley, for any lot or parcel which has reverted to the Town, at the option of the Town, to: 

(a) be compensated for the lot or parcel at the reasonable value of the lot or parcel as of the date the certificate is presented to the Town; 

(b) receive a right to burial to another lot or parcel if the right to burial or title to the lot or parcel has been sold by the municipality or cemetery maintenance district; or 

(c) receive the right to burial to the lot or parcel if the municipality or cemetery maintenance district has not sold the right to burial to the lot or parcel. 

SECTION 28:   INTENT.

           The intent of this ordinance is that the titles shown at the beginning of any section or subsection of this ordinance shall not be deemed to construe the meaning or content of such a section or subsection or any other section or subsection, but are provided solely for the facility and convenience of locating information within the ordinance.

SECTION 29:   INVALIDITY.

           If any part of this ordinance shall be held invalid, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the ordinance.

SECTION 30:   CONFLICT OF LAW.

All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed.

SECTION 31:   PENALTIES.

           Any person violating any provision of this ordinance shall be guilty of a Class C Misdemeanor.

SECTION  32:   EFFECTIVE DATE.

           This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon the posting of this ordinance in three public places within the Town of Rush Valley, Utah as provided by law.

           PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Town Council of Rush Valley Town, Tooele County, State of Utah, the 25th day of October, 2006.

                                                                       ______________________________

                                                                       Mayor Travis Sagers
                                                                       Town of Rush Valley   
ATTEST:
_____________________________
Joyce McAtee
Town Recorder
(SEAL)