Residents will be allowed to fasten flower containers and potted plants on loved ones' graves with wires during the Memorial Day holiday under a new policy adopted by the City Council.
The recently adopted policy is a change from one proposed by Don Mecham, city cemetery director, that prohibited the use of wire, sticks and rocks to secure flower containers on graves at the cemetery, 2224 S. Second West. Workers said that wire often goes unseen and is thrown by lawn mowers. At least one death has been reported in the United States after a wire projectile hit a passer-by.The council supported the Memorial Day exception in the policy saying that residents should be allowed to honor relatives. The policy also allows the use of artificial flowers during the holiday and winter months.
Councilman Robert Gramoll said "It's disrespectful. It is like dragging the flag in the dirt" about not allowing people to properly secure flowers on graves.
Unsecured flower containers are often toppled by winds in the area, he said.
The council asked Mecham to make a careful cleanup around the cemetery after Memorial Day to avoid any accidents. Youth groups will no longer be permitted to participate in the Memorial Day cleanup.
The new policy allows residents to place flowers beginning the Saturday before Memorial Day and requires removal before the following Saturday. After that time the flowers will be removed.
At other times during the year, only flowers in adjustable receptacles mounted in a headstone's concrete base will be allowed. The receptacles must be flush with the ground or be approved by the cemetery staff.
Other boxes, jars, bottles or any other containers will be removed. Artificial flowers are only allowed at the cemetery from Nov. 1 to April 1.
The policy also includes other rules:
-Only one marker per person will be permitted on a grave and only at the head of the grave.
-All markers must have a concrete base.
-Only one raised marker will be allowed in an area of four grave sites.
-An installation permit is required to install or remove grave markers. Cost of the permit is $10 for a flat marker and $50 for a raised marker.
-No hedges, fences or gravel will be permitted around a burial site.
-Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult in the cemetery.
-No animals are permitted in the cemetery.
-Flowers placed on graves during funeral services must be removed within 48 hours.