By Megan Hopps
The Champlin City Council met Monday, Aug. 28, to amend an ordinance regarding plantings and decorations in Champlin Cemetery, 812 Cartway Rd.
The cemetery is maintained, managed and owned by the city and municipal code governs that the Council establish policies for the management of the cemetery, the sale and repurchase of lots, the interment and disinterment of bodies, maintenance of grounds, grave monuments and markers, plantings, fees and charges and other matters.
According to Parks and Facilities Manager Charlie Lehn, the rules and regulations regarding the ordinance language addressing plantings and decorations are outdated and vague. “The language needs to be updated to provide more consistency and clarity,” he said. “The proposed changes are meant to address ongoing maintenance and aesthetic issues and to create well-kept cemetery grounds.”
The changes outline clear instructions in regards to placement of memorial planters, shepherd’s hooks and plant stands. By amending the rules, city staff will be better able to mow, fertilize, control weeds and keep each cemetery section organized and uncluttered.
The changes state that flowers may be placed in pots, planters or stands, but not in the ground. Items placed on grave sites will be removed prior to mowing. Only one pot, planter or stand is allowed per grave site. Fresh, cut flowers can be placed at the site at any time and the city will dispose of them when they wilt. The city will allow one shepherd’s hook hanger per grave site and no landscaping brick or benches are permitted. Artificial decorations such as statues, dolls, birdfeeders, toys, ornaments and plant hangers are prohibited unless placed inside a planter. Wreaths may be placed on grave sites between Nov. 15 and March 15 only. To view a complete list of rules, contact city hall at 763-421-8100.
City staff will first make calls to all affected families and send letters of request to modify the grave sites. If action is not taken, the city will take abatement action beginning Oct. 15.
In addition to this change, the city will no longer hold lots without full payment. All individuals who have previously requested lots listed in the legal notices of this paper must contact the city by Oct. 1 and make full payment for the lots. Residents that make requests after Oct. 1 will have to take the necessary steps to reinvest the title of the lot. A full list of lots is provided on page 15.