DENHAM SPRINGS – Families dealing with the stress of the passing of loved ones and their funerals will find some help in the policies for the city’s two cemeteries.

“This will help the funeral homes; they can’t know every rule. And it can answer a family’s questions,” said Arbie Goins, who was asked to compile the regulations.

The goal is to maintain the beauty and dignity of the cemeteries, according to Goins, who spent 30 years in the funeral home industry.

“This just put it in writing, made official what they’ve been doing for years,” Goins said.

The city oversees Denham Springs Memorial Cemetery on Range Avenue and First Baptist Cemetery on Centerville Street.

“The city fortunately has no big problems, but there’s safety in having it in writing if the rules have to be enforced,” Goins said.

“People are respectful and take care of graves, but we don’t want anyone to be disrespectful to the other graves nearby,” he said.

No flower receptacles may be placed on any plot unless approved by the cemetery, the policies say. Urns and vases must be kept in good condition. Broken or unpainted vases will be removed by the cemetery.

If people are visiting the cemetery and a funeral is about to be held, vehicles should be moved to the side and allow the funeral to proceed, Goins said.

The policies will help maintain the cemetery “for years to come beginning with our generation and the next generation.”

The regulations also will help families, funeral homes, contractors, vault companies and monument companies, he said.

The hours of the cemetery are from dawn until dusk daily but are subject to change without notice, according to the regulations.

Only licensed and bonded contractor and family should open a grave and if approved by the city.

The city does not have full-time personnel on-site at the cemetery, so the compiled regulations can answer a family’s questions, Goins said.

“They’re asking people not to prune trees or bushes but tell the city and they have people who will look after it,” Goins said.

Live flowers are allowed at funerals, but when the flowers begin to wilt, the cemetery will remove them, Goins said.

Headstones must be bronze or natural stone, marble or granite, Goins said. The cemetery reserves the right to determine the maximum size of monuments, their number and location on a grave.

If any monument become unstable and a risk to the public, the cemetery has the right to make repairs or lay the monument or marker down, he said.

The cemetery can reject any memorial on account of its size, design, inscription, quality or color. It also reserves the right to prevent any memorial that does not comply with the standards of the cemetery.

Other highlights of the regulations:

--No pets “or other lower animals included cremated animal remains” are allowed to be buried on cemetery grounds.

--Flags not larger than 12 inches by 18 inches are permitted on graves. Weathered or tattered flags will be removed by the cemetery.

--Removal of a body or cremated remains by the heirs or successors so the plot may be sold for profit is forbidden.

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