February 9, 2016

County Commissioners approve Edgerton Cemetery taxing district, 4-3

Mark Taylor
Johnson County Commissioners narrowly approved a request from the Edgerton Cemetery Association to form a cemetery district with taxing authority on Jan. 26.
The vote carried 4-3 with commissioners  Jim Allen, Calvin Hayden, C. Edward Peterson, and Chairman Ed Eilert voting in favor and commissioners Michael Ashcraft, David Lindstrom and Jason Osterhaus opposing
The cemetery district is expected to help cover maintenance costs for the cemetery association.
The boundaries of the proposed cemetery district include all of McCamish Township and the City of Edgerton, excluding the portion of Gardner located within McCamish Township, the existing Prairie Center Cemetery District, Four Corners Cemetery, St. Columbine Cemetery, the Lost Cemetery along the Santa Fe Trail, and churches and schools within McCamish Township.
Rick Lind, of the Johnson County Legal Department said forming a cemetery district with an annual budget of $7,800 would cost the owner of a $150,000 house $2.51 per year.
That is based on a taxing rate of about one-half of a mill. However, the district would have authority for 2 mills if needed.
Del Sawyer, chairman of the cemetery association, said the cemetery has limited resources and struggles year-to-year to keep up on mowing and gravestone maintenance.
He said the cemetery has a savings account of $38,000 that generates about .75 percent interest. It can only use interest generated by the account.
Grave sites are sold for $400 each, but only two were sold in 2011.
“We need to find a way to keep the cemetery funded,” Sawyer told commissioners.
Before casting “no” votes, Ashcraft and Osterhaus said other solutions for funding the cemetery should be explored before forming a taxing district.
Lindstrom said he dissented because he was not comfortable with the maximum 2 mill authority.
“I don’t want to create another taxing district,” he said.
The cemetery association considered two other options before deciding to pursue the taxing district.
One option was to abandon the cemetery, and leaving it to the county to maintain.
The other option was to turn it over to the city.
Lind said the county commission’s approval opens a 30-day window to allow for a protest petition.
If 10 percent of voters living within the district sign a protest petition, the cemetery district would be put on an election ballot.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Worthless politicians placing another tax burden on you and YOU will have to figure out how to pay for that additional burden, may it be $2 or thousands. .

  2. Steve McClure says:


    Does this mean you will be starting the protest petition?

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    There is no way I could keep up with all of the protest petitions that should be brought forward……I can’t do it physically and one person alone cannot do the job that needs to be done…………I believe in getting the lowlifes out of office and getting some decency into our community and our halls of government and only the people can do that and it starts by being fully informed and educated on how your government entities are operated and whether the politicians and bureaucrats have any semblance of strong moral values – that is why City Hall dragged their feet so long on getting city meetings available to the people to watch at their convenience and why they continue to see nothing wrong with breaking the law, making the deals in the back room, etc., etc – they are never completely transparent with the people and they never want the people to truly know how cronyism government works………you don’t get informed by listening to the propaganda – you have to pay attention, do research, ask questions and demand excellence…..only decent citizens can make a difference and if they don’t, they will be paying a high price and in many ways such as layer upon layer of taxation to take care of some and all special interests – all of these comments are my opinion. Many are looking for a free lunch and those lunches are forced upon and get more expensive by the day for the average, RESPONSIBLE citizen.

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