Cemetery Rules Compliance and Enforcement

Cemetery Rules Compliance and Enforcement Standard Operating Procedure for Gravesites and Memorials at Grace Hill Cemetery and White Cemetery 

Purpose: The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to establish the notice and resolution process for grave sites in conflict with the Section 22-14 of the City of Longview Code of Ordinance concerning the rules and regulations of Grace Hill Cemetery and White Cemetery.

Summary: The City of Longview, through the Beautification Department, maintains and operates municipal cemeteries. This includes grounds maintenance and oversight of contracted burial services for all three (3) City of Longview cemeteries. Grounds maintenance includes turf, vegetation and infrastructure maintenance and, as necessary, removal of shrubs and vegetation planted by family members and/or removal of memorials adjacent to headstones that have impaired the City’s ability to effectively maintain the cemetery grounds. Beginning July 1, 2018, the Beautification Division on behalf of the City will begin the formal process of identifying non-compliant gravesites, providing notice, and allowing time for the families to comply.  The City will remove, if necessary, vegetation and memorials that are in violation of the City of Longview Rules and Regulations.

Standard Operating Procedures for Gravesite Violations:

 1. Cemetery crews shall inspect and observe gravesite violations and mark the grave site with a temporary tag and colored flag.
a. The tag shall include the space Section/Lot/Space Number and be affixed to the flag.
b. The rules and regulations will be attached to the tag 

2. The Cemetery Grounds Supervisor will photograph the violation, as well as the headstone, flag and violation notice tag. He or she will then create an internal Service Request and attach the photograph along with the date and time.

3. A Service Request will be scheduled 30 days into the future to inspect the gravesite in violation. The corresponding violation photograph will be printed and attached to the request and submitted to the Cemetery Grounds Supervisor.

4. Cemetery staff will attempt to contact the family of the grave site in violation to advise of the notice and pending action.

5. If at 30 days, the violations have not been corrected, the Cemetery Grounds Supervisor will create a work order and assign crew members to remedy the violations, noting on the work order which materials were removed and /or disposed of, and what materials might have been kept/stored, if applicable.  Grounds Supervisor shall also complete an estimate of costs, including staff time and disposal fees.

6. Crew will take a picture upon completion. The photograph will be attached to the Work Order prior to it being closed.

7. The decision to discard or retain materials at the time of clean-up is at the discretion of the Beautification Manager and as defined by the Cemetery Rules and Regulations in Section 22-14 of the City of Longview Code of Ordinances. (Example: mulch, broken items, rocks will be disposed of immediately, and statues, pavers and benches will be retained temporarily.)

8. Retained materials will be stored at Grace Hill Cemetery for 15 days before permanent disposal.