Sunday, April 30, 2017


City of Grayling 
1020 City Boulevard / P.O. Box 549
Grayling, MI  49738
Phone (989) 348-2131         Fax (989) 348-6752
Cemetery Director - Erich Podjaske
email -
The following rules and regulations have been established to facilitate maintenance of our Cemetery and to reduce costs to taxpayers while maintaining a high quality facility. All cemetery activity will be overseen by the City Manager or his designee.
       It is the purpose of these regulations to acquaint prospective purchasers of burial rights, as well as those already having an interest in the municipal cemeteries, with those objectives and ideals which will provide for us and our successors, a complete list of services furnished by the City with the purchase of a Certificate of Burial Rights.
  There is no attempt made to interfere with individual tastes and privileges.  Only such regulations and restrictive measures are employed as have been deemed necessary to protect the interests of all and to preserve and improve the general appearance of the cemetery.  To this end, all persons shall conform to the rules and regulations which have been established by ordinance, and represented in this printed form.  The City of Grayling shares with you the solemn obligation to make the cemetery permanent and beautiful as a symbol of faith, love and devotion.
Ownership and Management:
      Elmwood Cemetery is owned, managed and operated by the City of Grayling. Chapter 10 of the City Code of Ordinances designates the cemetery management as the responsibility of the City Manager.  Grayling Charter Township participates cooperatively in the use and operating expense.  The general office for Elmwood Cemetery is in the Grayling City Office Building located at 1020 City Blvd, P.O. Box 549 Grayling, Michigan 49738.  The office is open to the public from 7:30 A.M. until 5:00 P.M., Monday thru Thursday.  A database of Certificate holders and burial records is maintained at this location.  Information concerning the cemetery is attainable by calling or directing inquiries to this office.
City Defined
      The word "City" as used in this publication shall be construed as meaning the City Council, City Manager, or appropriate administrative official of the City of Grayling, whichever may be applicable.
General Objectives:
      It is the aim of the City to maintain and perpetuate quiet places, sacredly devoted to the interment and repose of the deceased.  In this objective, the support and cooperation of all concerned is essential.  The general care provided by the City must be supplemented by the unified efforts of those interested.  Conflicting and inharmonious practices in the care of burial plots or installations shall be avoided.
  The general upkeep, improvement and development of the cemetery is provided by the City and financed from operational budgets of the City of Grayling and Grayling Charter Township.  Trust funds have been established with the intent of providing general upkeep and care after all burial space has been sold.  Higher standards of care will be possible as the treatment of individual burial plots becomes more uniform and simple.  Excessive or improperly placed plantings or decorations result in prohibitive costs.
         All charges for services must be paid in advance. A copy of the fee schedule may be obtained by calling the City Office, 989.348.2131.  Services that may only be provided by the City include:

           1. All opening and closing services.       2.  Perpetual care of burial plots

            3. Installation of monument and marker foundations.    4.  Special care services.

Every effort will be made to handle special orders for services in a timely manner.
Service Fee
     From time to time, the City Council shall establish the sale price of plots, which price shall include perpetual care.

      The Grayling City Council shall establish a fee schedule for the opening and closing of grave sites, differentiating in amounts, where appropriate.

      Current fee schedules shall be kept in the City Clerk's Office and is available to the public upon request.  Any fee schedule shall include, in bold print, the following statement: "Prices and fees herein contained are subject to change without notice by the City Council.
      Every burial right sold shall be subject to the rules and regulations now in force or that may be hereafter adopted or amended for the maintenance and perpetual care of the cemetery.
The term plot owner shall be defined as the owner of burial rights, evidenced by a certificate of burial right, or by proved and recognized descent or devise from the original owner.  Such a burial right shall be placed on record in the City Office.
    A cemetery plot shall not be used for a purpose other than the burial of human remains and the placing of appropriate monuments, memorials, or markers.
    When interment is sought for any person other than the owner of the designated burial space, or a member of his or her immediate family, special permission in writing of the owner(s) or authorized agent must be filed with the City and kept in permanent record prior to interment.
    Burial rights are exempt from property taxes. All land remains the property of the City, purchase of burials rights are limited to such. The transfer of any burial space or part thereof to different ownership other than to the original purchaser’s decedents shall not be allowed. The City will purchase any unused burial rights at the original purchase price. Those rights may then be sold to another burial rights holder at the current rate established by the City Council. The City will not recognize as owner any person(s) not shown as such by the cemetery records.  
Unsightly objects erected or placed upon lots, out of harmony with the general landscape design as adopted by the city and detrimental to adjoining lot owners, shall not be permitted.  Whenever objects of this nature are placed on lots, the city reserves the right to remove them without prior notice.
Perpetual Care:
      The purchase of every plot includes perpetual care and such care is made a part and condition of each sale.  Perpetual care for plots purchased prior to this policy is now included.  The perpetual care that the City agrees to provide shall consist of mowing of all plots at reasonable intervals; also trimming, reseeding, filling in sunken graves to the lot level, and trimming trees or shrubbery when necessary. 
Placement of Trees , Shrubs and other Items:
      Before planting trees, shrubs or placing other items on graves, please contact the cemetery Sexton at the City Office for authorization.  The City reserves the right to plant all trees and shrubs within the cemetery boundaries and will not permit the planting of trees or shrubs that are out of harmony with the general landscape design.  
All trees, shrubs and adornments must be placed in the same plane as the monuments and headstones to accommodate the maintenance of the cemetery grounds.
  The City reserves the right to remove, without notice, trees, shrubs and other items in violation of these rules, or which detract from or interfere with adjacent lots or are out of harmony with the general landscape design.
     No person shall trim, prune or remove any branches from any tree or shrub in the cemetery, whether on their plot or not.    
Notice of Interments
      Time and correct location of the grave, must be given to the cemetery Sexton at least 48 hours in advance of burial.  For Monday funerals notice must be given no later than Thursday morning Winter burials shall require 96 hours of advance notice. Notice may be left at the City office or with the cemetery Sexton.
Interments will start when weather conditions permit in the spring, normally by April 15th. Interments will continue until weather conditions prohibit so, normally around December 15th. The City will continue burials throughout the winter until frost levels prohibit interments.
  Orders by Funeral Directors for opening of graves will be construed as being orders from the plot owner.  If the deceased is not the owner or a member of the owner's immediate family, written permission of the owner(s) or the authorized agent must be filed with the cemetery Sexton or City Office before interment is permitted.  A burial permit is required at the time of interment.  All funerals entering the cemetery after 2:00 P.M. on weekdays or on Saturdays will be charged a higher fee for any work necessary to complete the interment. 
Sunday / Holiday Burials:    
Burials on Sunday and legal holidays are prohibited, except when ordered by the Health Department, or with prior approval of the cemetery Sexton, those burials which are permitted during these times will be charged at the rate equal to that established for Saturdays. Legal holidays observed by the City of Grayling are:
1) New Years Day
6) Labor Day
2) Martin Luther King Jr. Day
7) Veterans Day
3) Presidents Day
8) Thanksgiving (Thursday & Friday)
4) Memorial Day
9) Christmas Eve
5) Independence Day
10) Christmas Day
Grave Occupancy:
      The burial of two or more persons in one grave is not permitted, except mother and infant buried at the same time, twin children of same relation buried on the same day, or in the case of cremation.
      Permission to inter in any plot in the cemetery shall not be granted unless the plot is fully paid for and/or any other charges incurred to the city have been paid for in full.  An interment, once properly made, cannot be disturbed except upon written consent of the original owners, or their heirs, or by court order and with the necessary permits of the State Health Department.  The same applies to the removal of the deceased from plots for transfer to other places for burial, whether within or outside the cemetery.  This regulation also applies to private vaults.
      Cremains interments will be performed only by the cemetery personnel.  The cemetery Sexton will mark out the location specified by the interment request.
Interment Vaults:
      Vaults are required of all interments and are to be of concrete construction, or similar durable material. The city reserves the right to approve the design of the vaults.
 Winter Storage:
Cemetery interments will be undertaken under normal conditions, or as weather conditions permit; frost and snow cover being a determining condition. Winter rates (Please see rate schedule) are in affect when snow removal is necessary for interment. Storage during the winter months will be in the cemetery mausoleum, storage fees will apply.  The applicable storage fees are required to be paid in advance of storage.  Storage fees are explained in the cemetery fee schedule. 
General Requirements:
       Lot owners should not complete the purchase of memorials until they have read and understand all rules concerning the placement, size, style and material of markers, monuments or memorials. All grave markers, monuments, or memorials must be approved by the cemetery Sexton or his designee prior to placement. 
The use of sandstone, terra cotta, slate, artificial stone, wood or iron in any form is not permitted where exposed to the elements. Placement of plastic, wood, metal fencing or cement curbing around graves, the covering of graves with limestone, artificial turf, or any substance other than sod or planted grass turf is prohibited.  The cemetery personnel will remove, without prior notice, substances violating this regulation.
      Monuments shall be defined as memorials used to identify family burial plots.  Where monuments are allowed, not more than one shall be erected on each lot, and it must be in accord with the established rules and regulations that govern the cemetery. The location of any monument must be approved by the cemetery Sexton.  All monuments must have a cement foundation which extends a minimum of 3" beyond all sides, a minimum of 4” deep and is flush with the grade level of the site.
      Markers shall be defined as memorials used to identify individual graves.  Grave markers shall have grade level foundations of concrete construction, extending a minimum of 3" beyond all sides, except those markers which are place at grade level in which case the foundation may be constructed below grade at a sufficient depth to assure the marker being no higher than grade level.
  The cemetery Sexton shall have the right to establish temporary rules whenever it is in the best interests and safety of residents using the cemetery, but must report such temporary rules to the City Manager at once.
   The following conduct in the cemetery is prohibited.
  (a)  The picking, mutilating, or disturbance of flowers, trees, shrubs or anything of a decorative nature.      
  (b)  The presence in the cemetery of refreshments of liquor in any form.
  (c)   The bringing of dogs or other animals into the cemetery, either on leash or running loose.
  (d)   Advertising in any form.
  (e)   The use of firearms in or adjacent to the cemetery, except in connection with burial ceremonies.
  (f)    Entrance to the cemetery, except through established gates.
  (g)    Use of profane or boisterous language, loitering or misconduct.
  (h)    Use of motorized pleasure vehicles such as snowmobiles, go carts, motorcycles etc., within the cemetery.
  (i)      The violation of any traffic law of the City of Grayling.
  (j)     Driving in excess of 10 MPH, or in a reckless or careless manner.
  (k)    Driving of vehicles off the road without permission of the cemetery Sexton.
   (l)     Making U-turns with motor vehicles.
   The City will not hold itself financially or otherwise responsible for the acts of thieves or vandals.                      
All services and fees listed are subject to change without notice from time to time, with proper resolution by the Grayling City Council.
  Due to the high cost of maintenance, before you do anything such as planting live flowers, or place other items on plot, please contact the cemetery Sexton at (989) 348-2131 or