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Council Changes Cemetery Decoration Guidelines

The La Harpe City Council approved a resolution establishing new guidelines and rules for cemetery decorations in the city's sections of the La Harpe city and township cemeteries.

The new rules are an attempt to clarify the city's responsibilities for decorative items that are left in the cemetery. Cleanup days stayed the same in the new resolution. Spring cleanup is April 1 to 15. Fall cleanup is Sept. 15 to 30.

A summary of each section of the resolution is as follows:

Flowers, vases, decorations and ornaments are allowed only upon the marker, stone, or monument.

If they happen to fall off, the items may be discarded.

Shepherd's hooks are allowed if they are placed close to the marker, stone, or monument.

If the hooks impede mowing or trimming, they may be moved by the city. The city can also remove and forbid any shepherd's hooks on any lots.

The city has the exclusive authority for mowing, planting, sodding, or doing any other work or improvements within any city-owned cemetery section unless a resident has written permission from the city.

Any items such as planted flowers, shrubs, trees, etc. planted without permission may be removed by the city.

The city can also remove any floral designs, weeds, trees, shrubs, etc. as soon as the city believes they have become unsightly, detrimental, dangerous, or an impediment of any kind.

The city and its agents are not responsible for theft or damage to any personal property, including artifacts, personal effects, etc. placed on interment spaces or elsewhere within the cemetery.

"I took the items we came up with (at the last meeting) and what Lucretia (McPeak) had written down (in the minutes), and took that to (City Attorney) Kurt (Dittmer)," said council member Darrell Kraft.

Kraft wants to provide a copy of the resolution to each bidder for cemetery mowing in the future.

The next city supervisor meeting is November 5 at 4 pm.

Resident Max Owsley asked the council to consider filling a few potholes on South G Street with gravel.

More letters go out this week to residents who are behind on their water bills.

Kraft reported that the water department had submitted an itemized list of major equipment with serial numbers. The list was generated to have the serial numbers in case of theft or loss.

"I was really pleased with how quickly it showed up after we asked for it," said Kraft.

Present at the meeting were Mayor Ryan Kienast, council members- Darrell Kraft, Amy Palmer, Josiah Neff, Dave Mershon, Kenneth Foster, and Marcia Stiller, Treasurer-Marcia Neff, and Clerk-Lucretia McPeak, Dan Gillett, Doug Endres, and Max Owsley.

The next meeting will be Nov. 9, at 7 pm, at city hall. The meeting adjourned at 7:27 pm.