Reorganization Plans Underway for Bristol-Granada Cemetery Board of Trustees

Over the years, documents pertaining to the operation and by-laws of the Bristol-Granada Cemetery District have faded from view.  The three member trustee’s board has only had two members for several years, Lawrence McMillan and Ellis Wilson, and the cemetery employs a caretaker.  The upkeep for the cemetery is derived from a county mill levy generating $17,283 a year and pays the caretaker’s salary of $800 a month.  Apparently, there’s little bookkeeping regarding a fund balance or how other checks are used. 

Dee Melgosa, Granada resident, approached the Prowers County Commissioners this past Thursday, requesting guidance for establishing a larger and perhaps newer board to regulate the day-to-day and long-term functions of the cemetery.  Melgosa felt there needed to be some changes, stating, “I found out a while back, that a person had been buried in a plot I had reserved for myself years ago!”  She, and eight other concerned citizens, aren’t alleging any wrongdoing, but want better accountability in the way the cemetery is operated and organized, and they believe that can be accomplished with a new board.  She gave as an example, some graves had temporary markers for identification and some of those are now missing, making it difficult to identify who is buried where.  Commissioner Gene Millbrand, who operates a funeral home, said those markers are not meant to be permanent, but used for identification only until a headstone has been purchased and erected at the grave, but some have been on site for years.  Gravesite location books need to be kept updated, with one for the Bristol Cemetery and another for the Hillside Cemetery in Granada, and Melgosa believes they should be kept current with the board of trustees. 

She said some fund-raising activities have already improved the appearance of the Bristol Cemetery, and her group wants to see similar improvements from a Granada Cemetery Improvement Fund; such as a new fence and gate, someone to accurately measure the cemetery dimensions, additional trees planted and have the grounds seeded for grass.  The commissioners discussed the wording in a letter which will be sent to the two current trustee members and any other citizens interested in the reorganization of a new board.  Melgosa said her group will meet Monday, July 20 to determine their next steps in light of the commissioner’s meeting.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: CommissionerscommunityCountyGranada


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