County officials approve family cemetery procedure

Times photo/Regina Mozingo Walt Schley, president of the Patrick K. Harrold Chapter 75 Vietnam Veterans of America in Leavenworth, Kansas, recently presented an official plaque designating Ozark County as a “Purple Heart County.” The Ozark County Commissioners voted in July to become a “Purple Heart County,” a designation made by the Military Order of the Purple Heart to signify that a county honors Purple Heart medal recipients and the sacrifices they’ve made to earn the decoration, which is awarded to members of the armed forces who were wounded or killed while serving. Accepting the plaque Monday morning were, from left: Ozark County Clerk Brian Wise, Circuit Clerk and Recorder Jackie Smith, Schley, State Representative Travis Smith, Eastern County Commissioner Gary Collins, Western County Commissioner Layne Nance, Presiding Commissioner Terry Newton, State Senator Karla Eslinger and County Assessor Jayma Berry.

Ozark County Commissioners Terry Newton, Layne Nance and Gary Collins approved family burial grounds procedures during their regular meeting Monday morning. The newly adopted procedures lay out five steps to be taken in order to establish a family burial cemetery. 

The new procedures were adopted because of some confusion in the matter, said Presiding Commissioner Terry Newton.

Step one is to deed the property, not exceeding one acre, to yourself, family member or a cemetery board. 

Step two is to select an area close to the road or file an easement so the family will always have access to the cemetery.

Step three specifies that the deed should be recorded within  60 days in the Ozark County Recorder’s office.

Step four says that all costs necessarily incurred in superintending and protecting the cemetery, including fencing, will be upon the owners of the cemetery.

The final step is to immediately notify either the Ozark County Sheriff or the Ozark County Coroner, in the event of a person’s death and to follow their protocol.

The commissioners also learned that President Joe Biden officially declared Missouri a disaster area due to the severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred between July 29 and Aug. 14. As a result, the state and impacted counties, including Ozark County, will receive financial assistance from the Federal government. 

“We can move forward with getting stuff taken care of and getting reimbursement on the stuff that we’ve done,” said Newton.

The county commissioners meet every Monday at 9 a.m. on the second floor of the Ozark County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public.

Ozark County Times

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