The Annual Meeting of the Blanco Historic Cemetery Association was held at the Blanco Library on March 20.
The voting members of the Association in attendance accepted the organization’s Constitution and voted to approve revised and updated “Rules and Regulations for the Operation of the Blanco Historic Cemetery.”
Board President, Christina Gourley, provided a financial report that indicated that the cemetery is solvent and being operated in a fiscally responsible manner.
As of the end of fiscal year 2009, the organization had $5,842.32 cash on hand while $246,978.94 was being held in certificates of deposit. 2009 expenses included legal fees, office supplies, contract labor, Post Office Box rental, postage fees, utilities, new equipment, and maintenance supplies.
When one of the members asked why such a large amount of funds is being held in CD’s, Ms. Gourley indicated that at some point additional land will have to be purchased as the cemetery runs out of space.
Some Board members, it was disclosed, have been paying some cemetery expenses out of their own pockets.
They were lightly “chastised” by the members present and were urged to submit out-of-pocket expenses for reimbursement.
“I enjoy getting out there as a volunteer,” said Rebecca Howerton. “When I’m told to quit, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself.”
One member of the Board provides flags at her own expense and places them on the graves of all the veterans buried in the cemetery.
The Board reported that Jay Ward has been hired on a monthly basis to mow, to “weed eat,” to clear brush, haul trash, straighten headstones and to do general maintenance.
He picks up the flowers that get blown around the grounds and keeps an eye on the place.
“We tried to do the work strictly with volunteers,” said Ms. Howerton, “but it was difficult to do it consistently and effectively.” She said that a lot of hand labor is required, especially in the old section of the cemetery. The original Constitution of the cemetery has not been found.
The Constitution under which the Board presently operates meets the statutory requirements of a 501.3c Association.
The Board has tried to create a Constitution that is compatible with what they believe was the intent of the original 1963 document.
The present document was developed from the “Rules and Regulations for the Operation of the Blanco Historic Cemetery” which is based on existing statutes and uses some language from other cemetery associations.
“We have pulled together as many records as we could,” explained Ms. Gourley. “We found out that we had money in banks that we didn’t even know about.
Those funds have been recovered and deposited in appropriate accounts in the Blanco National Bank.”
In the new “Rules and Regulations” is an increase in the cost of a cemetery plot from $350 to $500 effective immediately. The Association is requesting a yearly contribution of $15 per household-owning-plots to go toward operating expenses.
A major overhaul of the cemetery grounds was recently accomplished that resulted in tree trimming, moss removal, and general clean-up and repair. The members in attendance agreed that the cemetery is presently “in great shape.”
There was some discussion regarding limitations of who can be buried in the Blanco Historic Cemetery. Some people wish to bury their dead in small town cemeteries, where they have no family ties, because it often costs less than it does where they reside.
The Board of Directors of the Blanco Historic Cemetery Association include: Christina Gourley, President; Gail McClellan, Vice President; Rebecca Howerton, Secretary; and Dennis Moore, Treasurer. David Seymour is Grounds Superintendent.
All owners of cemetery plots and those who are current with payments are considered to be voting members of the Association and are urged to attend and to participate in Association meetings.
Interested parties are urged to call the Board Secretary, Ms. Howerton, at 833-4950, in order to update mailing addresses.
Copies of the Rules and Regulations are available to the public and will be mailed out to all current members along with notices of Association meeting times and places.
The permanent mailing address of the Association is: P.O. Box 473, Blanco, Texas, 78606-0473.