Mark Taylor
[email protected]
McCamish Township will hold an election for a board of directors to oversee a new cemetery district at 7 p.m. on March 29 at Edgerton City Hall.
Registered voters who are landowners within the boundaries of the new district are eligible to vote or to run for one of five positions on the board.
Nominations will be taken from the floor.
“Basically whoever wants to serve on the board will show up for it,” said Delbert Sawyer, chairman of the Edgerton Cemetery Association.  “The election will be that night if we have more than five people (volunteer).”
Johnson County Commissioners in January approved a request from the cemetery association to form a cemetery district with taxing authority.
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.
Sawyer 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.
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.