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July 12, 2013


MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Darrin Figgins, Vice-Chairman Cecil Simpson, and Members Kathy Olson, Ronald Craft and David Schell.


STAFF PRESENT: Sexton Bernard LaFever and Secretary Paula Shapland

PUBLIC PRESENT: Wayne Russett, Patty Shapland, Susan Mason, Dana McDaniel, Todd & Susie Randles, Gene White, Janie Rodriguez, Julia Sanchez, Lanna Childers, Rose Blomander, Tyra Olson, Bev Milburn, Jennifer Waldron, Ofelia Guzman, Cynthia Pauda, Sandra Anchondo, Erineo Anchondo, Marie Dowell.


Chairman Darrin Figgins called the Quarterly Meeting to order in the Conference Room of the Grant County Court House at 12:00 noon.  He opened the floor to a spokesperson or anyone who wanted to address the board.  No spokesperson had been designated so each person voiced their own concerns.  A letter written by Susan Mason was read.   The overall emotional concern of the visitors was the recent removal of decorative and memorial items in the Ulysses Cemetery.  Most people described their special items that had been removed.  Some items had just been purchased for special occasions and were removed and discarded without notice.  Jennifer Waldron, daughter of Bernard LaFever, said she wanted everyone to know that her father was a very compassionate person and she didn?t appreciate their phone calls and comments.  Board Member Schell said there was some confusion caused by the change of sextons and the way the policies were enforced especially since they are fairly vague.  Board Member Simpson apologized for the removal.  Rose Blomander asked about a broken vase that she cannot get answer on about repairing or replacing.  Chairman Figgins said he was aware of the problem and that it will have to be replaced.  He explained that vases my break due to retaining water that freezes and expands in the winter.  Board Member Olson said the cemetery looks good and she is has had a number of calls from people who like the cemetery uncluttered.  Sexton LaFever explained that the cleanup is done so that maintenance can be done.  Todd Randles voiced that everyone is pretty emotional but mostly they want to know what the policy is and be notified if it changes prior to the change.  Chairman Figgins also apologized for the removal of items that is a change from the way the policy has been enforced previously.  Chairman Figgins advised that the Board will clarify the policy and the public will have a chance to comment on the policy at the next meeting. 


Chairman Darrin Figgins started the quarterly business meeting. Cecil Simpson moved, David Schell seconded, that the minutes of March 29, 2013 be approved. Carried unanimously.   Chairman Figgins also asked the Board to review the minutes of February 22, 2013 to note that there is a typographical error on the bid amount GBS Enterprises should be $64,627.22   instead of $74,627.22.  Dave Schell moved, Kathy Olson seconded, that the correction be made.  Carried unanimously.


The Financial Reports and Check Register for the 2nd quarter were reviewed and approved upon motion by Kathy Olson and second by Cecil Simpson.


Sexton Report: Bernard LaFever advised that the military crosses need to be addressed when the policy is updated.  The military crosses are put in without any notice to Bernie and they are another obstacle to maintenance.  The consensus is that the sexton should be notified prior to putting the crosses in and they should be in compliance with the policy.  Some board members predicted a major problem if that is enforced.


Sexton LaFever asked for clarification about the vase replacement.  Chairman Figgins confirmed that the owner needs to replace it.  The Cemetery is only responsible if an employee causes the damage.


He is having problems with the sprinkler system plugging up.  A filtering system has been suggested.  Following discussion, the Board asked him to talk to Ruben Flores at the City to see if he has a suggestion.


A 500 gallon propane tank was purchased for $950.  The large tank will be moved to the new building and leave the smaller one at the old building.  He wants to keep the cinderblock building for storage.  The Board agreed. 


He asked about millings around the new building and was asked to talk to Randy at Grant County to see if the county can help with that.


He is going to maintain the ditch south of the cemetery so that it will drain better.


Chairman Figgins asked if he had been using the sweeper.  He stated that he used it in the spring but the mowers are in use continuously so they haven?t been able to use it recently.


2012 Audit. No budget or cash basis violations were reported.  Kathy Olson moved, Cecil seconded, that the 2012 Audit be accepted. Carried unanimously.


Neighborhood Revitalization Program.  Chairman Figgins asked the Board if they want to have a public hearing to consider participating in the program which is endorsed by the County Commissioners.  Cecil Simpson moved, Kathy Olson seconded, to publish a notice of hearing and consider the plan at the next meeting.


Maintenance Building.  Sexton LaFever advised that the restroom has been framed and electrical wiring started.  Hammond Construction has been assisting.


2014 Budget Work Session: Following discussion, Kathy Olson moved, Cecil Simpson seconded to publish the notice of budget hearing as prepared with a maximum levy of $141,086.Carried unanimously.  Final amount may be decreased following the budget hearing on August 9, 2013. 


Discussion about Decoration Policy.

·         What should be included in policy ? military cross, shepherd?s hook, lights, benches, toys, vases, wind chimes, flags, frames, trellis, etc.

·         How many items should be allowed

·         Military crosses / working with Legion

·         Placement of items on headstone

·         Ability to maintain grounds

·         Notification prior to placement of any items.

·         Fee for marking site.

A policy will be drafted and emailed to board members for their input before the next meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.


Paula Shapland