TREMONT — The sale of plots in town-owned cemeteries here has commenced once again after being on hold for nearly four years.
Voters approved authorizing selectmen to sell available town-owned plots at a special town meeting in August. Once selectmen were given the authority to sell plots, they approved a price structure at their first October meeting. That structure had been proposed by former Town Manager Dana Reed, even though no plots were sold during his tenure.
There were two cemeteries with people on waiting lists to purchase plots prior to the town vote, Rich and Hillrest cemeteries. A 3-foot by 9-foot plot in Hillrest is going for $350. The plots in Rich are a little bigger, 5-foot by 10-foot, but the same price. The pricing list includes discounts for buying multiple lots in the same cemetery, where available.
At their Nov. 14 meeting, selectmen cleared the waiting list for Rich Cemetery by selling the first two plots since being given the go ahead to do so. It is the only town-owned cemetery of the five that has updated survey information showing available property at this point.
Hillrest Cemetery is in the process of being surveyed. Once that land survey is approved, sales of plots to the people on that waiting list will go to selectmen for approval.
Flye, Kelley and Head of the Harbor cemeteries still need to be surveyed to find out how much property is available before plots can be sold.
When selectmen were asked to approve the sale of the two plots in Rich Cemetery during their Nov. 14 meeting, Chairman Kevin Buck questioned whether it was necessary to bring all requests to the board for approval. At the August special town meeting, voters approved an amendment to an existing ordinance. That ordinance states only the board of selectmen has the authority to sell plots, according to Town Manager Chris Saunders.
During the board’s meeting, Saunders explained the sale of plots is that of real town property. Although it doesn’t have to be registered with the county’s registry of deeds, it could be.
In an interview with the Islander, Saunders explained the ordinance can be changed to authorize another town official to sell plots. Not all ordinance changes in Tremont need to go before voters, but another amendment to the cemetery ordinance would.