Cemetery Commissioners

According to the Vermont League of Cities and Towns' Town Officers Handbook:

Generally, town cemetery matters are the responsibility of the selectboard. However, the voters may decide to put the town’s public cemeteries under the charge of cemetery commissioners. The voters then elect a board of three or five cemetery commissioners for three- or five-year staggered terms, respectively. 18 V.S.A. § 5374. This board is responsible for the care and management of the town’s cemeteries, which includes the following tasks:

• The cemetery commission may grant and/or convey by deed lots in the cemetery and may make regulations governing the sale, price, and care of the lots. 18 V.S.A. §§ 5376, 5377.

• Cemetery commissioners may set aside a portion of the cemetery for the burial of indigent persons, and may make regulations for the use of this special area. 18 V.S.A. § 5375.

• Cemetery commissioners may maintain the public cemeteries and hire someone to perform this work. The expenses, not to exceed $500 per year of town funds, may be paid by the commissioners drawing orders on the town treasurer. 18 V.S.A. § 5362.

• Cemetery commissioners may grant a temporary right-of-way over private land to reach a graveyard to which there is no public right-of-way. 18 V.S.A. § 5322.

• Cemetery commissioners must keep in repair the fence around a public burial ground. 18 V.S.A. § 5364.

• Cemetery commissioners must submit an annual report to the town auditors, including a detailed financial statement, a listing of the work of the commissioners, and the condition and needs of the cemetery. 18 V.S.A. §§ 5379, 5380.

• The cemetery commissioners (and not the selectboard) may appoint individuals to fill vacancies on the board until the next annual meeting, even if a majority of the positions on the commission are vacant. 18 V.S.A. § 5374.

• A cemetery commissioner may be fined $400 for failure to keep a fence in repair after written notification of its disrepair, and may be fined $200 for the willful neglect of his or her duties. 18 V.S.A. §§ 5363, 5364.