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Cemetery Trustees

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Cemetery Trustees
Section 289:6

    289:6 Cemetery Trustees. –
I. Every municipality shall elect a board of cemetery trustees consisting of 3 members, unless a town at an annual or special town meeting votes that the board shall consist of 5 members. In the initial election of cemetery trustees, they shall be elected by ballot at an annual town meeting. One shall be elected for a one-year term, one for a 2-year term and one for a 3-year term. In towns with a board of 5 trustees the 2 additional trustees shall be appointed by the selectmen, one for one year and one for 2 years. Subsequent trustees shall be elected by ballot at the annual town meeting to replace those whose terms expire. The term of each trustee shall be 3 years. Vacancies shall be filled by the selectmen for the remainder of the term. The board may recommend to the appointing authority the names of no more than 2 persons who may serve as alternate members on the board. The alternate members shall be appointed to one-year terms. In cities the trustees shall be chosen and hold their office for such term as shall be provided by city ordinance. Trustees shall organize by electing one of their number chairperson and another bookkeeper, who shall keep the records and books of the trustees, and shall issue vouchers as necessary for funds to be expended. The chairperson and the bookkeeper may be the same member.
II. Any town that has the town manager form of government may vote to not have cemetery trustees by delegating all of the duties and responsibilities of cemetery trustees to the town manager, as specified in RSA 289. This option may be adopted by a vote of the town meeting. The warrant article question to be voted shall be: "Shall we discontinue the board of cemetery trustees by delegating their duties and responsibilities to the town manager?" If the majority votes in the affirmative, then the discontinuance shall take effect 90 days after adoption.
II-a. (a) Any town, with a traditional town meeting form of government, may adopt by a vote of the town meeting to have the board of selectmen serve for the term of elected office as the cemetery trustees. The warrant article to be voted shall be:
"Shall we delegate the duties and responsibilities of the cemetery trustees to the board of selectmen?"
(b) If the majority vote in the affirmative then the delegation shall take effect 90 days after adoption and shall continue until rescinded by vote of the town meeting.
III. At any subsequent town meeting, the town may vote to reinstate the board of cemetery trustees. A new board of cemetery trustees shall be elected at the town meeting next following the vote to reinstate the board of cemetery trustees.
IV. Any town that has a municipal charter form of government may specify in its charter the procedure to be utilized for the election or appointment of cemetery trustees. Such procedure shall be adopted under the provisions of RSA 49-B.

Source. 1994, 318:2. 1995, 62:1, 2, eff. July 8, 1995. 2016, 60:1, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 289:7

    289:7 Powers and Duties. –
I. Except in those municipalities in which other provisions have been made by a general or special act of the legislature, all cemetery trustees in the state shall:
(a) Adopt bylaws and regulations for their transaction of business and for the establishment and management of all municipal cemeteries within their responsibility.
(b) Prepare an annual budget indicating what support and maintenance of the municipal public cemeteries will be required out of public funds for submission to the appropriate agency of the municipality. A separate budget request shall be submitted for planning and establishment of a new public cemetery and for capital improvements or expansion of an existing public cemetery.
(c) Expend all moneys raised and appropriated by the municipality for cemetery purposes. Such funds shall be maintained in the general fund and paid in the same manner that funds of other municipal departments are paid.
(d) Expend income from all trust funds for cemetery purposes in accordance with the conditions of each donation or bequest accepted by the municipality. Such trust funds shall be held in the custody and under the management of the trustees of trust funds. The trust income shall be transferred to the cemetery trustees by the trustees of trust funds in response to vouchers executed by the cemetery trustees, if the requested funds are available. Such trust fund income shall not be commingled with the moneys raised and appropriated by the municipality.
(e) Prepare deeds of cemetery lots for the governing body to sign.
II. Cemetery trustees may appoint a cemetery custodian or sexton who shall not be a trustee and who shall be responsible to the cemetery trustees for supervising work done in the cemeteries.

Source. 1994, 318:2. 1995, 62:3, eff. July 8, 1995. 

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