Columbarium

As Approved by the Board of the Athens Cemetery Association

April 21, 2015

I. PURPOSE:

The Columbarium of Athens Cemetery (the “Columbarium” and the “Cemetery”) has been created to provide a space for depositing (“inurnment” of) cremated remains (“cremains) of eligible persons in individual niches.

II. GOVERNANCE:

A. The Athens Cemetery Association (“Association”).  The Columbarium is owned by and is part of the Athens Cemetery.  The Association administers, operates and maintains the Columbarium under written color of title and the laws of the State of Texas.

B. Association Duties.  The Association shall have authority to:

  1. Elect its own Board of Directors and Officers (the "Board").
  2. Subject to approval by the Association Board, adopt its own internal rules and operating procedures, including the dates and times of regular meetings, the procedures for calling special meetings, the establishment of a quorum and the procedures by which votes are taken or decisions are made.

III. ELIGIBILITY FOR INURNMENT:

Inurnment in the Columbarium shall be limited to the cremains of any person desiring to purchase a niche.

IV. FEES:

The current one-time fee for the right of inurnment in the Columbarium is $1,500 per niche.  This fee includes up to two (2) urns, all costs directly associated with inurnment, inscription of names and dates, and perpetual care of the Columbarium.  It does not include the cost of cremation, transportation and other off-premises costs.  The fee may be changed in the future by the Association if approved by the Board.  Current holders of Inurnment Rights will neither be reimbursed nor assessed additional costs if the fee changes.

V. PURCHASE OF NICHES:

Each Niche in the Columbarium shall have a capacity of two urns.  To purchase a niche, an eligible person should obtain a Columbarium packet from the Association office; this packet contains a copy of the Columbarium Rules, Policies and Regulations and all applicable forms.  The applicant should complete all appropriate forms and submit them, with payment in full, to the Association.  A member of the Association will contact the applicant to insure that all information is correct and then submit the application to the Board for final approval.  When the application is approved, the applicant, (now “Owner”) will be issued a Certificate of Right of Inurnment (“Certificate”).

VI. SELECTION OF NICHES:

When an application has been approved, the applicant will have the right to select any niche(s) which may be available at that time.  If more than one application shall have been approved on the same date, the rights of preference shall be based on the date and time the completed applications are received by the Association.  No more niches will be sold to a family than those necessary to inurn the cremains of all eligible persons in that family, with two urns to a niche.

VII. MANNER OF OWNERS’ DELIVERING OF ORDERS:

The Association shall be held responsible only for written orders given in person or by certified mail, and shall not be held responsible for any mistake occurring due to the lack of precise written instructions as to either the inscription upon or the location of the niche where inurnment is desired.

VIII. INURNMENT PROCEDURES:

A. Services.  Services shall be conducted during the normal business hours of the Cemetery as set forth by the Athens Cemetery Association Rules and Bylaws.

B. Urns.  The only urn that may be used for inurning cremains in the Columbarium shall be the urn provided by the Association and included in the fee charged for the niche.  The name of the deceased shall be permanently affixed to the urn.

C. Inscription on Niches.

  1. Uniformity of Inscription: The inscription shall be the uniform size and style as determined by the Association.  The purchase price of the inurnment rights shall include the cost of such inscription. 
  2. Conformity of Text: The maximum inscription shall consists of the following: 
    • (top line) FIRST AND MIDDLE NAME(S) OF THE DECEASED 
    • (middle line) LAST NAME OF THE DECEASED 
    • (bottom line) DATE OF BIRTH and DATE OF DEATH Month (as Jan., Mar., Apr.) Date (XX), Year (XXXX)
  3. Correctness of Inscription: An inscription order form will be provided in the Columbarium Packet, and shall be typed or printed in ink, and signed by the person or persons entitled to do so.  Arrangements for the inscription, in accordance with the name and dates so furnished, will be made by the Association.  The Association shall be responsible only for such errors in the inscription as might be made by the party doing the inscription which deviates from the name and dates as filled in on the signed inscription order form.

IX. FLOWERS, ORNAMENTS AND DECORATIONS:

A. Floral Regulations.  Flowers or plants may be placed in the Columbarium area only as directed by the Association.

B. Prohibited Ornaments.  The use of felt, crushed silk, or any other cloth in a Columbarium niche is prohibited.  The placing of any items, such as toys, signs, wreaths, ornaments, or any other article not provided by the Association, shall not be permitted in or near the Columbarium area.  Any of these items may be removed by the Association and disposed of without notice or liability to the owner.

X. OWNER’S OBLIGATION OF NOTIFICATION:

The owner of inurnment rights has an obligation to keep the Association notified concerning his or her current address, ownership changes and relation information.

XI. PERPETUAL CARE FUND:

A. Funds from the sale of niches in excess of initial construction costs and associated expenses shall be maintained by the Association, under directions of the Association, to aid in the cost of the upkeep of the Columbarium, including the following:

  1. Routine maintenance. 
  2. Floral arrangements and seasonal plantings. 
  3. Inscription and installation of engraved plaques on niches following inurnment. 4. Insurance as required. 5. Future additions, modifications and/or repairs to the Columbarium. 6. Other uses are the discretion of the Association, subject to the Board of Director’s approval.

XII. TRANSFER OR ASSIGNMENTS:

A. Right of First Refusal.  The Association retains the right of first refusal to purchase the unused inurnment rights of any owner of the such rights at the then current standard purchase price or the original price, whichever is the lower, prior to the transfer or assignment of said rights to any other owner.  Any new owner would have to meet the criteria in Article III of this document, Eligibility for Inurnment, and would be subject to approval by the Association.

B. Removal.  Cremains remain the property of the family or estate of the deceased.  If cremains from one or both persons listed on the Certificate have been inurned in their niche and the survivors wish to remove all the cremains, rights to the niche will revert to the Association, with no compensation due to the Owner’s estate.

C. Niche Use.  No cremains may be inurned in any niche except those for persons listed on the Certificate of Right of Inurnment for that niche.

XIII. TITLE AND RETAINED RIGHTS:

The holder of a Certificate acquires no property rights in the Columbarium, any of its niches or any part of the Cemetery or Association.  Legal title to the Columbarium and all niches remain with the Association at all times.  The Certificate attests only to the right to inurn the cremains of the person(s) named on the Certificate in the specific niche also stated in the Certificate.  Assignment of cremains to a specific niche shall constitute only a license to use such niche pursuant to these Rules, Policies and Regulations, as amended from time to time.  In the event of a discrepancy between the Certificate and the administrative records maintained by the Association, the latter shall take preference.

XIV. REMOVAL OF CREMAINS BY THE ASSOCIATION:

A. Cremains may not be removed from the Columbarium without the written consent of (a) the Association and (b) the Owner (or his or her legal representative or successors) of the Right of Inurnment.  The rules stated in this section, Transfer or Assignment, shall apply.

B. In the event the Columbarium requires repairs in order to maintain its integrity, the Owner agrees to permit the temporary removal of any cremains until those repairs are completed.

XV. SECURITY OF CREMAINS:

The Association shall not willfully take any action or willfully fail to do any act that would result in the loss, destruction, or desecration of any cremains in niches.  The holder(s) of the Inurnment Rights will assume the risk of the loss, destruction or desecration of the decedent’s cremains from any or all other causes.

XVI. TERMINATION OF THE COLUMBARIUM:

The Right of Inurnment will continue as long as the present Columbarium edifice exists, stands and is owned by the Association.  If the present edifice is to be sold or demolished, and a replacement Columbarium will not be furnished at the new site, the Right of Inurnment will cease.  In that event, the Association will notify the Owner (or his or her legal representative successors) that they must remove the cremains from the niche.  If no one of such persons removes the cremains within a reasonable time of if no one of such persons can be contacted within a legal time, the Association has the right to relocate the cremains as it deems proper.  No refund of any amount from the Inurnment Rights will be made.

XVII. PERSONAL CONDUCT IN THE COLUMBARIUM AREA:

The Columbarium is part of the Cemetery and all persons in the Columbarium area are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with customary good decorum as normally observed on hollowed grounds.  The Association is empowered to enforce these rules and regulations and to exclude from the Columbarium area any person(s) violating these rules and regulations. XVIII. PROTECTION AGAINST LOSS:
The Association may carry such insurance for its own benefit upon the Columbarium and contents as the Association sees fit; however, there is no obligation upon the Association to provide any insurance for the benefit of the inurnment right holders.

XIX. AMENDMENT OR WAIVER OR OPERATING RULES:

The Association may, at any time, amend, repeal, suspend, or waive any or all of the rules and requirements of these Rules, Policies and Regulations.  Waiver of any such rule or requirement shall not be construed, unless specifically so stated by the Association, to constitute a continuing waiver of that rule or requirement with respect to any situation or occurrence arising thereafter.