Kent establishes Cemetery Committee

KENT — Administration of the town’s cemeteries has shifted from the Kent Cemetery Association to the town following a unanimous vote at a special town meeting Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Fourteen residents came to the Town Hall to consider enactment of the new ordinance that will shift care of six town-owned cemeteries to a new five-member volunteer committee. Those cemeteries are Bulls Bridge, Congregational, Flanders, Good Hill, Skiff Mountain and St. Andrew’s.

Resident Chris Garrity was elected to serve as moderator for the half-hour meeting.

The Cemetery Committee will function under the direction of the Board of Selectmen, which will appoint its members. Any resident interested in serving on the committee should contact the town. Initially the terms will be of varying lengths in order to establish staggered term endings.

The ordinance also provides for the hiring of a sexton to oversee the day-to-day operation of the cemeteries, supervised by the new committee. A job description for the sexton has been posted on the town website for interested candidates.

Discussion included residents’ concerns about how the financial assets will be transferred from the Cemetery Association to the town and how they will be handled.

First Selectman Marty Lindenmayer responded that the cemetery funds will be included in the town budget under its own heading.

Residents also asked about long-range planning to expand the cemeteries should additional space be needed. Sextons aging out of their positions was also noted as a problem being faced by area towns.

The town meeting closed with selectmen and residents expressing appreciation to the Cemetery Association for its members’ years of commitment and service to the town.

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