Showing posts with label Vets Mem. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vets Mem. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Is Perpetual Forever?

Special Heber Council Meeting MONDAY, 8 July, 7:30 PM, to "Discuss Awarding of the Bid for the Veteran’s Memorial Project"

Update: The City Council cancelled the Memorial by a 5-0 vote at the meeting Perpetual Care will remain intact, reportedly the lack of donations ($2,026 total) was the straw that broke the mackerel's back.  That, and two bids way over estimates.

Heber City's FY 2014 budget allocates $88,000 from the Heber Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund  to the construction of the proposed Veterans' Memorial.   According to Heber Code, these funds are in a Trust Fund  for the purpose of "essential perpetual care" of the cemetery.

This money basically comes from 67% of the 'purchase' price of burial plots.  Reallocation of the funds raises several questions:

  • As only the "net income" of the Trust Fund is used for that care, at the current low interest rates, are there currently sufficient funds to maintain the cemetery?  
  •  Is the fund is so large that it can be "invaded" for $88K for the Veterans Memorial?  (the code appears to say the Trust Fund can only be "invaded" for care and maintenance) 
  • Does this indicate that the burial plot fees may be TOO high? 
  • How are the Perpetual Care funds invested (and how much is the fund value?). 
  • How, and when, will that money be returned?
  • Who audits the perpetual Care Fund?
  • Does perpetual mean forever?
  • Was there a SPECIFIC vote by 4/5ths of the Council to reallocate the money?
  • The 2014 budget did not appear to designate the entire $300K  that was mentioned, what is the source of the remaining funds?
 It appears from Heber Code, diverting funds to the memorial is, at best, inappropriate.    " A trust fund is a fund comprised of a variety of assets intended to provide benefits to an individual or organization."    These Perpetual Care Trust funds are there for the CARE of the cemetery - for the benefit of those who purchased burial plots.  

A few more question specific to the Memorial:
What's the rush?   With an election coming up, why saddle the new Council with more spending/debt?

It will be as much a memorial in 2014, as it will be in 2013, it just may not memorialize the perpetrator who will not be in office.

Does the proposal contain a plaque with the names of the elected officials who authorized the project? 

If so, eliminating such a distraction from what the memorial is supposed to represent would be a cost savings.  
If asked, do you believe that each and every man, woman and child in Heber (15,000) would voluntarily donate $20 to $30 to this project? (or about $60 to $100 per family?  (because that is what it will cost them.)
Why not ask the mayor for a donation of $15K, especially if his name would be on the plaque?   

In fact, if this is such an important project, why doesn't the council each kick in $5k to show how much it really means to them.  One councilman received $4k from HL&P for not even being on the board.  

Another veteran, agreeing with the Iraqi  Freedom Veteran & Soldier that all we want from the government is the Liberty we stood for as veterans

From the May 16 Heber City minutes:

Excerpts from Heber Code:  
Perpetual Care Fund
Section 12.24.050   B. No sale of any lot or portion shall be made thereof unless the purchaser thereof contracts for perpetual care in accordance with the terms and conditions as the City Council may from time to time require.
C.  The City Council shall from time to time establish by resolution, the cost schedule  governing the cost of lots or burial privileges and of perpetual care required with each lot purchased.    Of the cost of lots or portions thereof 67% is to be allocated to the perpetual care fund.
F. The investment of perpetual care funds shall be governed by the City Council.   Only net income shall be used for the care and maintenance of the cemetery except upon a vote of four-fifths of the City Council, the principal may then be invaded. Net income is defined as all revenue returned from the investment of the perpetual care fund less any costs of administering this fund.
Section 12.24.300   There is hereby established a Perpetual Care Trust Fund into which shall be deposited all trust funds previously established for care of cemeteries and that portion of the sale price designed for perpetual care of the City cemetery or parts thereof, together with any other gifts, grants, devises or bequests made for the purpose of assisting in the maintenance of cemeteries.
Section 12.24.310 Work Included in Perpetual Care.
The essential perpetual care that the City agrees to give shall consist of care of the cemetery generally, and shall include, but is not limited to, mowing of all lots and graves at reasonable intervals, resodding, seeding and filling in sunken graves, sodding of the surface of the graves to the lot level, raising sunken markers, removing dead flowers and trimming trees and shrubbery when necessary, raking and cleaning the lots and straightening of tilting stones or markers, but shall not include repair or replacement of markers or memorial structures of any nature, except when the need for repair or replacement is directly caused by the City.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

All He Asks for is Liberty

A Letter to the Editor from the local newspaper, the Wasatch Wave.

He served, he fought, he learned, he understands:
          Thank you for your service