Stonewall proposes new cemetery by-law

Examples of burial plots in contravention of a proposed new by-law shown at an open house held by the Town of Stonewall at Stonewall Quarry Park Heritage Arts Centre in Stonewall, Man. on March 18, 2019. (Adam Peleshaty/The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times)

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The Town of Stonewall held an open house at the Stonewall Quarry Park Heritage Arts Centre on March 18 to receive residents’ feedback on a proposed new maintenance by-law for Stonewall Cemetery.

The proposed By-Law 02-18 would repeal three other by-laws already in effect with regards to the cemetery located on Highway 67. The new by-law would also provide a greater emphasis on regulations, as well as the maintenance and beautification of burial plots, including a semi-annual two-week-long cleaning period starting on April 15 and Oct. 1.

“As part of the semi-annual cleanup, all artificial flowers, decorations or ornamental materials of any kind including, but not limited to, lawn ornaments, solar lights, borders, fences, railings, trellises, iron posts, or any items made of glass or china will be removed from the cemetery and discarded,” Rule 55.0 states, adding that individuals must remove any such items prior to the cleanup period.

The proposed by-law also states that the town may remove any monument, headstone or marker that becomes “dilapidated, dangerous or unsightly due to neglect, age or a state of disrepair” 30 days after written notice has been forwarded to persons listed on the deed or their heirs. Any curbing, fencing, grave covers, gravel or stone surrounding or on a plot, as well as vegetation affecting the structure or appearance of a headstone or marker, would also be removed. Anyone disobeying the bylaw may be fined up to $1,000.

According to the Town of Stonewall, it wants to make the cemetery a more beautiful place while also respecting families.

“It’s time,” councillor Jackie Luellman, who helped spearhead the proposed by-law, said. “The cemetery needs to be a little more cleaned up, looked after. We want it for future generations … We’d like to work with the people here to make these changes.”

Individuals at the open house were invited to submit comments and
concerns. The new by-law will be voted on at a Stonewall council meeting in April.

To read the proposed by-law, visit stonewall.ca and click on “Open House – Cemetery Maintenance.”

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