Chapter 27 – Cemetery Board of Trustees


The Cemetery Board of Trustees (hereinafter referred to as the City Council) will consist of elected Bloomfield Council persons. The City Council will continue to plan, maintain and operate the I.O.O.F. and Bloomfield (South) Cemetery. Pursuant to Section 5231.502 of the Code of Iowa, the City Council states its willingness and intention to act as the trustee for the perpetual maintenance of the cemetery property.

The City Council shall establish rules that specify the cemetery’s obligations in the event that internment spaces, memorials or memorializations are damaged or defaced by acts of vandalism. Such rules shall be given to the owner when lots are purchased and posted at the facility in a manner to provide adequate notice to the using public.

To accept gifts of real property, personal property and bequests, including trust funds; and to expend the funds received from such gifts or bequests as may be given by the donor or as directed by the City Council.

The City Council shall have and exercise in connection with the Bloomfield cemeteries and any other cemetery that may in the future be deeded to or come under the jurisdiction and control of the City, all of the powers and duties imposed by law upon cities and towns in connection with the management of cemeteries. Bloomfield cemeteries include the I.O.O.F. Cemetery and the Bloomfield Cemetery.

27.02 RECORDS.

It is the duty of the Clerk to make and keep complete records identifying the owners of all interment rights sold by the cemetery and historical information regarding any transfers of ownership. The records shall include all of the following:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 523I.311)

  1. Sales or Transfers of Interment Rights.
    1. The name and last known address of each owner or previous owner of interment rights.
    2. The date of each purchase or transfer of interment rights.
    3. A unique numeric or alphanumeric identifier that identifies the location of each interment space sold by the cemetery.
  2. Interments.
    1. The date the remains are interred.
    2. The name, date of birth and date of death of the decedent interred, if those facts can be conveniently obtained.
    3. A unique numeric or alphanumeric identifier that identifies the location of each interment space where the remains are interred.


The Clerk will prepare an annual budget for the cemeteries and provide accurate monthly financial accounting for the Board.


The sale of interment rights in the cemetery shall be evidenced by a certificate of ownership or other instrument evidencing the conveyance of exclusive rights of interment upon payment in full of the purchase price. The agreement for interment rights shall disclose all information required by Chapter 523I of the Code of Iowa. The payment of all fees and charges shall be made at the office of the Clerk where receipts will be issued for all amounts paid. Said fees and charges shall be based upon the charges as established by the Board.

 (Code of Iowa, Sec. 523I.310)


The transfer of ownership of exclusive interment rights in the cemetery shall be conducted by the Clerk’s office. Proof of ownership, and a notarized statement from owner(s) authorizing transfer will be provided prior to transfer being conducted. Applicable fees and charges shall be based upon the charges as established by the Board.


Any unoccupied lot will be presumed abandoned under the conditions set out in state law for reversions, and the City may sell such reverted lot, the proceeds from which shall be deposited in the perpetual care fund to provide for the care of any occupied area of the reverted property or there be no occupied portion, the proceeds from the sale portion may be invested, and the interest thereon be used wherever deemed useful for the care of cemetery.


The City Council shall, from time to time as conditions require, set by resolution prices for conveyance of a deed for lots, based on the size and location of each. The price shall include a portion for the perpetual care charge as set by the resolution. The proceeds from the sale portion shall be deposited in the general fund. The prices may be increased and the proportion for perpetual care changed when the Council finds that the needs of the cemetery require it. The Council shall also set by resolution charges for grave opening/closing, locating, or other services. A locate fee will not be assessed for individual government issued markers.


The City reserves and shall have the right to correct any errors that may be made in making either interments, disinterments, or removals, or in the description, transfer or conveyance of any interment property, either by canceling such conveyance and substituting and conveying in lieu thereof other interment property of equal value and similar location as far as possible, or as may be selected by the City or in the sole discretion of the City, by refunding the amount of money paid on account of the purchase. In the event such error shall involve the interment of the remains of any person in such property, the City reserves the right to remove and transfer such remains to such other property of equal value and similar location as far as reasonably possible may be substituted and conveyed in lieu thereof.


The Board, by resolution, shall accept, receive and expend all moneys and property donated or left to them by bequest for perpetual care, and that portion of interment space sales or permanent charges made against interment spaces which has been set aside in a perpetual care fund. The assets of the perpetual care fund shall be invested in accordance with State law. The Board, by resolution, shall provide for the payment of interest annually to the appropriate fund, or to the cemetery, or to the person in charge of the cemetery to be used in caring for or maintaining the individual property of the donor in the cemetery, or interment spaces which have been sold with provisions for perpetual care, all in accordance with the terms of the donation or bequest, or the terms of the sale or purchase of an interment space and Chapter 523I of the Code of Iowa.

 (Code of Iowa, Sec. 523I.503, 523I.507 & 523I.508)


The purchase price of a lot shall include a portion to be called the perpetual care charge, to be set as a percentage of the full price, and the Clerk shall deposit such amount to a cemetery perpetual care fund. The Council, by resolution, may accept gifts or donations of land, money, or investment assets to be placed on the credit of the perpetual care fund. The assets of the perpetual care fund shall be invested by the treasurer as permitted by state law for municipal cemetery investments. The City shall use the income from such investments in caring for the property of the donor, or as provided in the terms of such gift or donation, or as agreed in the instrument for sale and purchase of cemetery lot. Nothing herein required shall be construed as destroying any vested right as to investments heretofore made prior to the date that the City acquired title to the cemetery or the fund, but such investments may be continued until their maturity and then reinvested according to the provisions of this section.


Perpetual care does not include marker upkeep.


The following rules shall govern general operations of the cemetery.

  1. Persons within the cemetery shall at all times maintain decorum of speech and action, including avoidance of loud talking or other noise.
  2. No person shall drive any vehicle faster than five (5) miles per hour or in a careless manner upon the cemetery roads nor drive anywhere except upon such roads unless authorized by the cemetery superintendent.
  3. Persons shall walk only on roads and walkways or footpaths except when absolutely necessary for maintenance of gravesites, inspection of plots, installation of markers or decoration of graves.
  4. No person shall deface or otherwise damage any marker, headstone, monument, cemetery fence, or any other cemetery structure.
  5. The hours of the cemetery shall be from sunrise to sunset each day. Any person found in the cemetery after closing hours may be considered trespassing and upon conviction of such, shall be subject to penalties for simple misdemeanor.
  6. No person, except an authorized City employee, shall cut, remove, or carry away any flowers, trees, shrubs, plants, or vines from any lot. However, the owner of a grave space may remove and carry away any flowers, plant or vines that they have placed upon the grave space. No person other than the owner of the grave space or City employees in the performance of their duties shall remove, carry away, or destroy any vases, flower pots, urns or other objects which have been placed upon any grave space.
  7. No person may consume or possess liquors or alcoholic beverages of any kind on the cemetery grounds.
  8. All persons seeking to plant trees, bushes, flowers or placement of benches, used other than for a monument, etc., must first obtain permission from the I.O.O.F. Foundation, with final approval by the Council prior to doing so. If approval is given, all maintenance and upkeep will be the responsibility of the individual.

    (Ord. 659 – Mar. 12 Supp.)
  9. No person shall allow any dog or other animal belonging to him or under his control to be in the City cemeteries, or any part thereof.
  10. No person, other than law enforcement officers and persons engaged in military funerals or like ceremonies whose functions require the carrying of firearms, may carry any firearm in or upon the City cemeteries grounds.
  11. All persons using the cemetery grounds shall deposit their rubbish and trash in the receptacle placed for that purpose.
  12. Funeral directors shall notify the City or the City’s designee of any proposed burials in the Bloomfield I.O.O.F. Cemetery or Bloomfield South Cemetery. Within ten (10) days after the date of burial, the funeral director will present, in writing, to the City or its designee, the name of the deceased, age, date of birth, date of death, date of burial, and name and address of the responsible next of kin.


The following rules shall apply to burials and disinterments within the City cemeteries:

  1. Before any burial will be permitted, proper documentation of ownership must be furnished to the City or the City’s designee.
  2. Lot owners are forbidden to allow interments to be made in their lot for a remuneration other than by transfer.
  3. All graves shall be dug by persons authorized by the City and filling, sodding, boxing, mounding or other work upon single graves or lot graves shall be done only by such authorized personnel.
  4. No interment of any body other than a human being shall be permitted or made in the City cemeteries, nor shall there be more than one body per grave space except as may be authorized.
  5. Arrangements for interments shall be made by the owner of the burial space, by a member or members of the family acting and authorized by law to act for the owner, or by an authorized funeral director, or other authorized agent of the owner.
  6. Notice of interment must be given to the City or the City’s designee at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of burial.
  7. The City shall in no manner be liable for any delay in the interment of a body where a protest to the interment has been made or where the rules and regulations of the cemetery have not been complied with. The City shall be under no duty to recognize any protest of interment unless it be in writing and filed with the City Clerk.
  8. The City shall not be responsible for errors resulting from orders or instructions given by telephone. All orders must be in writing before finalizing any action.
  9. The City shall not be liable for the interment permit nor for the identity of the body sought to be interred.
  10. Cemetery employees shall exercise reasonable care in making a removal but neither they nor the City shall assume any liability for damages to any casket or burial case or urn incurred in making the removal.
  11. All interments shall be in a concrete box or steel outer receptacle.
  12. All cremated remains shall be in a universal urn vault or other receptacle of concrete.
  13. There shall be no scattering of cremated remains in cemeteries other than designated areas.


The following rules shall apply to the erection of markers within the City cemeteries:

  1. There shall be only one marker per grave space, provided however, that each grave space may have, in addition, an approved military marker.
  2. Monuments, grave markers, and other stone structures of every description shall have suitable foundations, adequate to prevent tipping or sinking. Such foundations shall be of rock, sand and cement (3 to 1 mix). The foundation shall be a total of four (4) inches (two inches on either side) wider and longer than the stone with a minimum depth of forty-two (42) inches with vertical walls. Forming shall be required if walls collapse. All foundations shall be inspected by a person authorized by the City.
  3. All newly poured concrete foundations shall sit a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours before the monument is placed on the foundation.
  4. Location of the marker shall be determined by the City or the City’s designee and it must be set and maintained so that the top of the foundation is flush with the surrounding ground, except in the Memorial Addition where the top of the marker shall be flush with the surrounding ground.
  5. Slabs of any kind will not be permitted as coverings for graves. Surface vaults will not be permitted.
  6. If any vault, tomb, mausoleum or like structure in which bodies are entombed in the cemetery shall fall into a state of dilapidation or decay, or shall be determined by the City Council to be offensive or in any way injurious to the appearance of the cemetery, no adequate provisions having been made by the owner for repair and preservation of such structure, the City shall have the right to remove the offensive or objectionable structure and to inter any body or bodies contained therein, in the earth upon the lot on which such structure was located; maintaining such lot thereafter in good and similar condition as done with other lots in the cemetery.
  7. No fences or enclosures around lots shall be permitted.
  8. Authorized employees of the City may enter upon any lot and remove any shrub, plant, ornament or other object which is deemed detrimental to the cemetery or adjoining lots and for the purpose of making any improvements deemed to be advantageous to the cemetery grounds.
  9. Any article, including flowers, left on the ground around the tombstone/grave markers after March 20th, June 20th, and August 20th, will be removed. Cemetery cleanup will last for five (5) days. Cemetery cleanup will be a period of five (5) days beginning March 20th – 25th; June 20th – 25th; and August 20th – 25th.
  10. Lot owners and others are prohibited from placing on lots or graves any globes, shells, cans, jugs, bottles, wooden benches, chairs, settees, headboards, or wooden articles of any kind. Also prohibited are long-term toys. Any such articles found on the cemetery grounds may be removed at the discretion of the City.
  11. A sign will be posted regarding removal of flowers that are on the ground. Flower saddles, permanent vases that are attached to the headstone, grave blankets, shepherd hooks and anything attached, military crosses and military markers placed next to the marker, candles and imitation flowers on headstones are allowed. Please have all decorations or ornaments attached to or staked up against the headstone with 8 inches of ground clearance. At the time of cleanup all ornaments or decorations that interfere with trimming or mowing will be removed. The City and mowers have the right to define what ornaments/decorations interfere with mowing and trimming. Flowers remaining from a burial will be removed after seven (7) days.

    (Ord. 664 – Mar. 12 Supp.)


The City shall take reasonable precautions to protect plot owners and the property rights of plot owners within the cemetery from loss or damage, but it expressly shall not be liable for loss or damage beyond its control, and in particularly, from damage caused by elements, an act of God, common enemy, thieves, vandals, strikers, malicious mischief makers, explosions, unavoidable civil disorder, whether the damage be direct or consequential.


The violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a simple misdemeanor.

(Ch. 27 – Ord. 625 – Oct. 06 Supp.