These rules are established in accordance with New Hampshire RSA 289 Cemeteries/Burials. The Director of Public Works is the Sexton of the Cemeteries. If unavailable, he may designate a person to act in his place. The Sexton is responsible for the sale of all burial lots, the recording of all deeds and the maintenance of records, the scheduling of manpower and equipment for burials, the care and maintenance of grounds, the surveying and the recording of new lots, avenues, and the enforcing of the regulations below. The Director of Public Works, as Sexton, shall keep and maintain all cemetery records in the Public Works Department Office at 22 Dodge Road, Amherst. Such records are limited to those that will enable the town to locate by name and date, every interment or removal and the exact location within each lot. The Director of Public Works as Sexton has the responsibility for care of the cemeteries and is empowered and authorized to enforce these rules below. The Cemetery Board of Trustees has the sole authority to grant exceptions to any of the rules.
A. RULES FOR THE PUBLIC
- Horses, dogs, recreational bicycles, motor driven dirt bikes, and off road vehicles are prohibited in the cemeteries. No vehicles, except maintenance or other commercial vehicles involved in gravesite preparation or restoration shall be driven on any part of the cemeteries except upon avenues.
- Any person intoxicated, disorderly or disturbing the quiet and good order shall be asked to leave the cemetery. If said person does not leave, the Amherst Police shall be summoned.
- Firearms shall not be discharged in cemeteries, except for salutes at military funerals or during town sponsored parades.
- Children under the age of 15 are not permitted in the Cemetery unless accompanied by an adult.
- Gravestone rubbing is prohibited.
B. SALE OF LOTS
- A cemetery lot can be a 4 -grave site, a 3-grave site, a 2-grave site or a 1-grave site. Cremated Remains – Each grave will support one full burial plus three vaulted cremated remains – Or six vaulted cremated remains.
- Cemetery lots are sold only to Amherst residents, OR to former residents who have lived in Amherst for at least 10 years. Cemetery lots can also be sold to municipal employees with 10 years of service. Exceptions to this rule will need the approval of 2 out of 3 trustees.
- Payment for a grave site is due within 30 days from the date of billing. If payment is not received, the lot will go back into available space.
- The prices of cemetery lots are as follows: A single 1 grave lot - $500; two 2 grave lots - $1000; three 3 grave lots - $1500 and four 4 grave lot $2000. General cemetery maintenance is included in the price of the lot. (General cemetery maintenance includes raking, mowing, seeding, fertilizing when necessary, as well as maintenance and/or repairs to monuments.) The sale of lots does not include burial vaults, corner markers or opening fees. Payment for lots will be made to the Town of Amherst when billing is received from the Amherst Department of Public Works. Upon receipt of payment, the Right to Inter will be sent directly to the owner. When purchasing a cemetery lot, the purchaser shall pay for a corner marker which will be engraved with the lot number and the initial of the owner’s last name. The cost of the marker is $50 and this is paid directly to Merlyn Monument of Milford, NH. All interments shall be enclosed in a sealed cement vault, including cremations.
C. TIMING INFORMATION FOR INTERMENTS
- The Sexton requires a minimum of twenty-four hours notice to schedule the manpower and town equipment necessary to open the grave in time for the burial. The funeral director shall supply such notice. Funeral directors must present all burial documents upon arrival in the cemetery. The funeral director shall provide artificial grass, lowering devices and any other materials or equipment associated with the burial ceremony.
- Interments may be scheduled between 10 am to 2 pm, Monday through Saturday. Interments will not take place on Sunday or holidays, and will not take place from December 1 through April 15, unless the Sexton rules otherwise, based on weather and ground conditions.
D. PLANTINGS AND MARKERS
- Purchase and installation of monuments and markers are the responsibility of the lot owner. No monuments or headstones may be placed in the cemetery without a suitable concrete foundation constructed by the monument company.
- 1 grave lots – ground level markers may be l’ x 2’ 6” maximum size; no above-ground monuments are permitted.
- 2, 3, and 4 grave lots may have one above-ground headstone is permitted, not to exceed 36” in height from the grade to the top of the die, 3 feet by one foot at the base and a 2 feet wide die.
- One stone bench, 18” high x 36” long x 24” wide will be permitted in lieu of a headstone. The bench must meet the same placement requirements of a headstone i.e. centered on the lot.
- The Cemetery Sexton will handle all plantings. Flower pots are permitted however they will be removed when wilted. With the exception of sanctioned Memorial Trees discussed below, planting of any other trees and shrubs is prohibited however shrubs and trees which were planted in the cemeteries prior to December 7, 2001 may remain in place. (On December 7, 2001 the Cemetery Trustees voted that beginning with the spring of 2002, graves with permanent plantings that either, hinder maintenance, or disrupted the aesthetic of the cemetery, could be trimmed or removed. If any shrub or tree situated in a lot of land, should, by means of its roots or branches, become detrimental to the lot, or to the adjacent lots, avenues, or paths or dangerous or inconvenient, it shall be the duty of the Trustees, and they shall have the right to enter the lot and remove said tree or shrub, or such parts thereof, as are thus detrimental, dangerous or inconvenient. The cemetery is not liable for damages to plants and trees that are not planted according to the rules.
- Memorial Trees, which may be purchased from the Cemetery Trustees, in memory of the departed, will be planted only by the Sexton and his staff.
- On graves with a flat or flush granite marker, only removable pots will be permitted.
- It is not permissible to place fences, decorative landscaping, stones, or curbs on any lot. Temporary decorative memorabilia will be removed within 30 days of interment – no permanent decorative objects are permitted. The cemetery has the right to remove non-conforming items, from any lot, after an attempt has been made to contact the lot owner to remove said item.
- The placement of U.S. flags and memorial wreaths on Veteran graves is allowed. U.S. flags on Veterans, Amherst Firefighters and Amherst Police graves will be done from Memorial Day to Veterans Day and then removed. The placement of wreaths on Veterans graves will be done from November to April and then removed. Other memorial flags are allowed with specific Cemetery Trustee approval.
Amended by the Amherst Cemetery Trustees
January 25, 2007
Revised October 30, 2008
Revised January 12, 2010
Revised April 4, 2014
Revised August 1, 2014