Anyone who has at least $125,000 liability insurance will be able to dig graves in the Fairland Cemetery.
After agreeing to this new policy, the Fairland Board of Trustees Thursday also approved a new policy that states now graves shall be left unattended until covered.
Trustee Claude Best said he had checked with a lot of the funeral directors in the area and the Oklahoma Funeral Directors Association before coming up with his recommendations.
“They all agree no grave should be left unattended because of thefts,” he said.
Best added, “I made the liability insurance low enough that it is not a problem for anyone.”
Jim Love, a resident of Fairland, asked if under his recommendations could anyone dig a grave in the Fairland Cemetery?
Best reminded him that the funeral directors, not the town, hire the grave digger.
Love then asked if the cemetery didn't recommend the use of one service to dig the graves. Best said, “No.”
“Under this policy I see more damages being done to headstones in the cemetery,” he said.
Best said this is why the $125,000 liability insurance coverage is required.
Duane Bryant, Fairland Public Works Authority operator, said without one person doing the digging if there are two services going on at the same time there could be a problem.
Mayor Andy Krebs asked, “Can't we have this new policy and assume Bob Clark will still be the one digging the graves?”
Best said that most likely that will be the case, but it will be up to the funeral directors as to who they hire. “We're just putting the $125,000 liability insurance requirement to assure the town is covered if there is problem,” he said.
He added, “I've talked to everyone involved and they are all agreeable to the two new policies.”
When a member of the audience asked if people could dig a grave in the Fairland Cemetery by hand, Best said if they have the $125,000 liability insurance they can.
“We're trying to be very flexible and suitable to all,” he said.