Commission Meeting Draft Minutes
Draft Minutes of the January 22, 2020 5:00 p.m.
Commission Workshop Meeting
The workshop meeting of the Lady Lake Town Commission was held in the Commission Chambers at Lady Lake Town Hall, 409 Fennell Blvd., Lady Lake, Florida. The meeting convened at 5 p.m.
A. Call to Order
Mayor Jim Richards
B. Roll Call
Note: Commissioner Vincent arrived at 5:25 p.m.
Kris Kollgaard, Town Manager; Thad Carroll, Growth Management Director; C.T. Eagle, Public Works Director; Julia Harris, Staff Assistant to Town Manager; and Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk
C. New Business
1. Presentation by the Lady Lake Cemetery Association Regarding the Possibility of the Town Participating in the Perpetual Existence of the Lady Lake Cemetery (Chuck Johnson, P.A.)
A packet which included prepared statements and the bylaws and rules and regulations of the Lady Lake Cemetery Association, Inc. were passed out to the Commission. (A copy is on file in the Town Clerk’s office.)
Randa Robinson Anderson of 201 E. Lady Lake Blvd. spoke on behalf of the Lady Lake Cemetery Association. She stated that they are requesting that the Town assume operation and maintenance of the Lady Lake Cemetery. Trustees John Burton and Vicky Raitz-Cash, and Attorney Chuck Johnson were present as well.
Ms. Anderson stated that the cemetery has been operated by volunteers, many of whom have family members interred in the cemetery, that make up the Lady Lake Cemetery Association. She stated the Association has been unable to attract new volunteers who are able to consistently commit an effort to operate the cemetery. The current volunteers are now growing older and many have health problems. She stated many of the founding members of the Town are interred in this cemetery.
Vicky Rates-Cash of 4613 Griffin View Drive spoke on behalf of the association as trustee, and noted that she has five family members interred there and has five lots for future need. She stated the Lady Lake Cemetery Association currently operates under 501(C)(13) exempt status per Florida Statute Chapter 497 (FS 497)and is not required to be licensed under the State of Florida. Records and maps of the interment records are kept up to date. She stated the three items required under FS 497 include continuing care and maintenance accounts, permanent records, and availability of a knowledgeable sexton.
The Association is requesting that the Town annex Parcel A to the Town of Lady Lake, continue the name of the Lady Lake Cemetery, and dedicate of Parcel B for future interments. The members of the Association would be honored for the Town to take over management and operation of the cemetery. She thanked the Commissioners for the opportunity to meet this afternoon.
Chuck Johnson introduced himself as the legal representative of the cemetery. He stated the title to the cemetery is clear and he believes the Town should consider this request seriously.
Town Manager Kris Kollgaard stated that if the Commission is inclined to look into taking over the cemetery, she will meet with staff and schedule a workshop. Staff will meet with association members to obtain the costs associated with running the cemetery and estimate the costs for perpetual care for the next ten to 15 years, and the cost for Town personnel to operate it.
Commissioner Kussard stated she feels the Commissioners should have a workshop where all Commissioners are present to discuss whether the Town is even interested in taking over the cemetery.
After discussion, Commission Kussard asked where revenues come from and how many plots are available for sale.
Mr. Johnson replied that the revenue comes from the sale of plots.
Ms. Cash stated that 102 niches are still available at this time, with 24 in-ground spaces in Parcel A, 78 unplotted in Parcel A, and three acres in Parcel B could be plotted out at 5 by 10 feet or 50 feet each. They could be plotted out at smaller dimensions. Prices are currently charged at $650 per plot, $850 for niche She stated it could be designated as a historic site and then it could be eligible for grants.
Mayor Richards noted that the association is having more of a people problem than it is a money problem, as they have no new volunteers to run the association. He stated he would be interested in how this hand-over would happen and asked if there is any charge for perpetual care.
Mr. Johnson stated there is currently no charge for perpetual care and the cemetery would be better under the care of the Town. It was stated that there is no charge to families other than the price of the grave or niche; no perpetual care or charge for opening and closing the grave. He stated that other charitable organizations could contribute to the care of the cemetery once they learn the cemetery’s value to the community.
Mayor Richards stated he would like information on what the estimated costs will be for operating the cemetery before the Commission meets again.
Ms. Kollgaard asked if the funeral homes actually open and close the plots. She asked how many hours a week volunteers work.
Mr. Johnson stated the funeral home sub-contracts opening and closing the graves. He stated the association does most of the maintenance of the cemetery although the mowing is contracted out. He stated that about 10 hours per month is dedicated to this endeavor.
Ms. Cash stated that volunteers spend about two hours per week picking up limbs, sticks and pine cones before the mowers arrive.
Mayor Richards asked why there was such a difference in costs between 2016 and 2017.
Ms. Cash replied there was cast iron work, limestone rock, and Hurricane Irma repairs.
After discussion, the Commissioners agreed that a workshop will be scheduled to discuss this further.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
Kristen Kollgaard, Town Clerk
Jim Richards, Mayor
Minutes transcribed by Nancy Slaton, Deputy Town Clerk