Costs to increase at cemetery

RANGELY I Increased activity at the Rangely Cemetery and increasing maintenance costs are “putting a strain on our caretaker, his employees and the cemetery budget” according to the Rangely Cemetery board.“To our knowledge we have never increased our mil levy to raise more taxes for operation of the cemetery,” stated board members Paula Davis, Jeff Peacock and Teresa Sims in a letter. “We also have kept the cost of a plot at $60 for many years.”As of Jan. 1, 2012, the cemetery district will begin charging $200 to open and close a grave. The fee can be paid with the purchase of a plot or at the time of service.And in an effort to keep expenses as low as possible, the district has added some new guidelines for flower arrangements and decoration of grave plots. 1. Flower arrangements and other items around grave sites are welcome to be placed provided they do not interfere with long term perpetual care.  Note: The cemetery caretaker and his employees will remove any item left for longer than one week that interferes with mowing, edging and other maintenance provided by the district.  An exception will be the week before and the week after Memorial Day.2. All items left longer will be allowed provided they are on the headstone or its base and do not interfere with maintenance operations. Do not use nails, wire, rocks, bricks, etc., to anchor items. These items, as well as the plastic or fiberglass wind figures and solar lights, are safety issues for the grounds staff and equipment. No glass is allowed. Shepherd’s hooks and similar items are allowed provided they are placed in between the headstones.3. Items left long-term will be removed if, in the opinion of the caretaker, the color fades or the item otherwise becomes worn or tattered.4. If you pull grass, weeds, etc., from around headstones, do not throw it into the trash barrels.  Either take it with you or throw it loosely over the fence.5. The caretaker, staff and board will address future items as they arise in the best interest of the cemetery.  Please be considerate of the grounds maintenance staff when bringing items into the cemetery. Cemetery District board members or cemetery caretaker Matt Grenfell are available to answer questions concerning these changes.