FEATURED PROGRAM – MAY 22

Grandview Cemetery
Ruth Ann Wilson


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Ruth Ann Wilson

Grandview Cemetery Association, a tax-exempt organization was founded over one hundred years ago and is considered a jewel in the Bonners Ferry community.  The place where solemn Memorial Day services are held each year, and where moose have been known to graze, the grounds are separated into what can be called the older and the newer sections.  Burial plots sold for $10.00 in the early years. Effective June 1, 2012, plots will be available for $600.00.  Ruth Ann was invited to speak to Rotarians concerning the financial situation to ascertain whether Rotary would be willing to support the Association. 

Reserves that should be used for the perpetual care of the cemetery (i.e., the cemetery’s endowment fund) are now being used to support its operations.  This has been particularly evident over the last four years.  With a budget of less than $25,000/year, a groundskeeper is the only paid person on staff.  Plots have been selling for $480.00 and will be increased to $600.00 on June 1, subsequent to a survey of comparable cemetery associations.  Cremation lots will sell for $280.00 on June 1st.  There is no subsidy from the County and a taxing district was voted down earlier.  In addition to the groundskeeper who has agreed to accept no more than $15,200/year), expenses include tractor upkeep, fuel for lawnmowers ($1,800/year), and cleaning of stones, among other miscellaneous items.  Potential income includes the sale of lumber from the site; however, the removal of the older trees from the old portion of the cemetery could be expensive. 

It was suggested that the cemetery consider developing a firm budget, soliciting a volunteer fundraiser, and conducting a community campaign for both operational and endowment funds. It was further suggested that the volunteer could be compensated with an in-kind contribution of burial plots or a portion of the income generated from the timber removed from the site.

Ruth Ann was requested to complete a 'Request for Rotary Funding' form to be considered at the June meeting of the Board of Directors.

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