Mark Taylor
[email protected]
The newly formed McCamish Township cemetery taxing district now has a governing board.
Glyn Powers, Phyllis Harris, Bob Knabe, Rick Magee and Dolly Shanley were elected March 29 to oversee finances and operations at Edgerton Cemetery.
The five were elected from a slate of seven candidates who expressed interest in serving.
About nine McCamish Township property owners showed up to vote.
The newly formed board replaces the Edgerton Cemetery Association, which was made up of volunteers and had no taxing authority.
Officers will be elected at the board’s first meeting.
The board will also be charged with selecting a name for the organization and planning a budget.
Johnson County Commissioners in January approved a request from the former Edgerton Cemetery Association to form a cemetery district with taxing authority.
The cemetery taxing district is expected to cover maintenance costs for the cemetery.
The boundaries of the cemetery taxing 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 the cemetery district — with an annual budget of $7,800 — would cost the owner of a $150,000 house about $2.51 per year.
That is based on a taxing rate of about one-half of a mill. However, the district has authority to levy as much as 2 mills if needed.
Delbert Sawyer, chairman of the former Edgerton 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.
The association was only able to spend 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.