City council to reroute former cemetery funding for general use

City Council members Brian Conger (left) and Carl Copeland (center) are sworn in by City Clerk Julie Key at the end of Monday’s city council meeting at City Hall.

 The Princeton City Council on Monday approved a resolution and had the first reading of an ordinance aimed at simplifying its records regarding cemetery funding.

Before September 2018, a portion of cemetery lot sales were allocated for cemetery expansion, but the requirement for that allotment was eliminated by ordinance that month.

Mayor Kota Young said that money had been placed in a capital projects fund.

“There’s been about $56,000 set in that fund over the years, and it’s just been sitting there dormant,” he said. “There are two pots of money currently in the fund. The first is dedicated to the Senior Citizens Center. It’s grant money left over from when the center was constructed back in the early 2000s, and it has to be spent on the center.

“The second pot of money was funds for the cemetery expansion. Prior to 2018, a portion of every cemetery sale had to go into the expansion fund. In 2018, we changed the ordinance so that, moving forward, for all future lot sales, none of that money would go into the expansion fund; it would all go into the general fund.”

Young said that no provisions were made for the use of that fund, so the ordinance introduced Monday would allocate the senior center money to current expenses at the center, eventually spending all of that funding.

“Then, the resolution would remove any lingering obligation on the cemetery expansion fund money that obligates it to be used for cemetery expansion,” he said. “Currently, we can only use the money for property acquisition for cemetery expansion. We would like to expand the use to more general expenses.”

The city council will vote on the second reading of that ordinance, making it official, at its next meeting, scheduled for 5 p.m. Jan. 4 at City Hall.

The city council approved the second reading of an ordinance setting new costs for grave openings in the city of Princeton.

That ordinance set the following costs for digging gravesites: $350 for opening a burial on weekdays – an increase from the previous charge of $300 – and the fee on weekends and holidays will be $400, which remains unchanged.

There will be no charge for opening graves for children 12 and younger. The previous fee was $150 on weekdays and $300 on weekends and holidays.

The ordinance calls for a $200 fee for opening a grave for a cremation on weekdays and $250 on weekends and holiday, both of which remain unchanged. There will be a fee of $200 for closing and sealing mausoleums on weekdays and $250 on weekends and holiday, which also remain unchanged.

The council approved reappointing John Capps and Mark Thomas to the Princeton-Caldwell County Airport Board.

Members of the Princeton City Council were sworn in by City Clerk Julie Key for the next year at the end of the meeting.