Halifax Cemetery Commission

Special Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at 1:30 PM

Halifax Town Office, 246 Branch Road, West Halifax, VT

Or Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7814490827?pwd=bTRLMCtDdzgrR2NndWV5andxTG0vUT09

Attendees: Linda Swanson, Gary Rand, Laurel Copeland, Patrick McAllister



CALL TO ORDER at 1:37 pm


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Minutes from the meeting on July 21, 2023 were approved.





Discuss charges, that new purchases of secondary cremation openings, where a burial has previously occurred, should incur a charge of $100 beginning January 1, 2024, and that plot prices be increased by $25 each (regulations amendment required). The commissioners discussed and agreed on the advisability of grandfathering in anyone to whom the 2023 prices were already quoted.


Amend regulations as needed – the 2 changes discussed above were voted on and approved for addition to the regulations.


Form revisions – Linda Swanson (LS) will send Laurel Copeland (LC) the changes to the “Cemetery Commissioners Order” form requested by Patty Dow. Patrick McAllister (PM) explained that the forms belong to the Cemetery Commission but must meet the needs of the Town Clerk. The cemetery commissioners will review and approve the form changes at a future meeting.


Adoption of electronic form(s) – postponed to next meeting.


Drafting a report to the Select Board – The written report will include a list of projects completed and planned to justify requesting the amount in the October 2022 Plan ($18,691) or other amount, over and above the standard allocation of $5,775 for mowing. PM commented that the way funds are managed is changing this year allowing carry-over year to year. The cemetery commissioners will also update the 5-year plan approved in October 2022, noting expenses, assets, and income, for inclusion in their report to the Select Board.



Choose a vendor for Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) in Halifax Center – 2 vendors, Matt Turner of GeoModel in Bennington and Darryl Caulkins. Darryl Caulkins estimated $3300 for the front section only; Matt Turner estimated $4900 for both sections. The work will include paint on the grass showing where the plots are; the cemetery commissioners will mark (with small stones/concrete blocks) the plot information. The proposal from Matt Turner will be accepted conditional on these details being confirmed.


Funds management, budget, and projections – covered above in Report to Select Board.


Managing Halifax cemeteries – Whitneyville has had all stoned washed; many stones were straightened ahead of the Otis event; another work bee is needed to finish straightening. LC noted a stone that needs straightening in Hatch Cemetery. Capt. Levi Adams’ stone needs repair in the Hall Family Cemetery on Hatch School Road. More work is needed in Halifax Center. The cemetery commissioners will visit Hatch and Hall cemeteries as well as Niles to see stones needing repair/straightening.


VOCA grant – no change since LC wrote the first 2 proposals; she is awaiting estimates.


OTHER BUSINESS – How much does it cost to have marble stones engraved? LC will ask Abbiati Monuments.


HEARING OF VISITORS – None remained in the meeting at this point.


ADJOURNMENT – 2:45 pm.



  • LS sends LC changes to the Cemetery Commissioners Order form.
  • LS will verify what is covered by the GeoModel proposal for GPR in Halifax Ctr.
  • LC asks Abbiati for engraving costs.
  • GR, LS, and LC visit Hatch, Hall, and Niles