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Council approves procedures for city cemetery

by HEIDI DESCH
Whitefish Pilot | April 14, 2021 1:00 AM

Whitefish City Council has approved a resolution creating a policy for operations at the Whitefish City Cemetery.

The City Clerk’s office manages the ownership and records for the cemetery and contracts with Whitefish Lake Golf Course to maintain the grounds.

City Clerk Michelle Howke said the policy will provide consistency between the city and the grounds crew allowing staff to maintain the integrity and beauty of the cemetery whale allowing for the expression of respect and grief.

“Regulations are necessary to operate and maintain a cemetery that is beautiful, dignified and an appropriate final resting place,” she said.

Howke said the policies are similar to what other cemeteries have in place.

As part of the policy, the purchase and resale of any unused grave or columbarium niche must take place through the city with third party sales prohibited. The city will repurchase any unused location for the original purchase price.

Howke says this policy helps the city maintain its records.

In terms of beautification, planting of any flowers, trees or shrubs must receive written permission from the city.

Artificial flowers or decorations may be placed on cemetery grounds during the months of April through October. For Memorial Day, artificial flowers must be removed within seven days after the official Memorial Day holiday.

Maintenance and cleaning of a memorial/monument is the responsibility of the lot owner.

The policy document also sets size and standards for all memorial/monuments.

The city cemetery was established in 1917 when the site was purchased from the Whitefish Land Company for $675.

The cemetery was annexed into the city in 1979. The cemetery includes about 2,760 burial plots and in 2014 a columbarium niche wall was added to provide 40 niches for cremated remains.

Council also:

• Approved a request by Matthew and Judy Lanning for a conditional use permit to construct an accessory apartment at 19 Washington Ave.

• Approved a request by Joanna Chung for a conditional use permit to construct an accessory apartment 243 Dakota Ave.