Monday, Sep 22, 2014
News

Council move creates more room at the Brooksville Cemetery

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BROOKSVILLE - Space is a precious commodity at the Brooksville Cemetery. On Monday night, City Council voted 5-0 to allow a greater number of cremated remains to be interred in a burial plot, and also limited burials in historical areas of the cemetery to family members only.

Sexton Rich Howard described the resolution as a "housekeeping item," but also said it was a "big deal" for families. Previously, the cemetery allowed two cremated remains in a single plot, but the vote raised that number to six.

"It's an opportunity for our citizens to save a buck," Howard said. "It also saves us spaces ...

the cemetery has limited space and the only thing we have out here is land and when it's gone it's gone.

"It behooves us to offer a deal," Howard said. "It's a win-win."

The resolution also limits future burials in the historic sections of the cemetery to family members of the deceased.

The update cemetery rules and regulations define a family member as a spouse and their parents; sons, daughters and their spouses; parents and their spouses; brothers, sisters and their spouses; grandparents, grandchildren, and their spouses; and "any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the interred/inurned is the equivalent of a family relationship."

Howard said Tuesday the historic section was "actually sold out years and years ago," but with deed holders from the 1800 and 1900s dead, the cemetery "just wants to be absolutely sure family members get in there."

Howard said the family members will need to provide documentation and signed affidavits.

The new rules apply to the historically black section of the cemetery, where there are plots still available. Howard said cemetery staff wants to make sure family members can be buried together.

Before voting on Monday evening, Mayor Kevin Hohn asked if same-sex couples married in states that recognize same-sex marriage would fall under the "family members" category. City Manager Jennene Norman-Vacha said same-sex spouses would not be eligible "under our current definitions." wbiddlecombe@hernandotoday.com

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