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Exeter Cemetery District Considers Options After Second Ballot Defeat

 

Last updated 1/3/2023 at 8:55pm | View PDF

The Exeter Public Cemetery District will have to seek different funding sources following two failed parcel tax ballot measures.

Measure U was the Exeter Public Cemetery District's parcel tax measure and plea for help to the community that appeared on the local ballot in both June and November.

It was placed on the ballot because for many years the district's revenues have not kept pace with its expenses, even after staffing and other expenses were severely cut.

Unfortunately for the district, Measure U failed in both elections. So what now?

The board of directors is currently considering alternative sources of revenue. The district's main source of revenue is from the sale of burial plots at its three cemeteries.

The projects that must be completed in order to have plots available for sale include getting water to the Deep Creek location and completing the infrastructure to open up the last section of land at the Exeter cemetery.

After the expenses of the elections, connecting water at Deep Creek, and improvements at Exeter, the district will be back in the same financial position it was in prior to 2020. Without additional revenues, the district will continue to operate at a deficit and is projected to run out of money in approximately seven years.

At that point, the district will have to apply to the courts to be allowed to use money in its endowment trust fund to temporarily sustain the cemeteries. If the courts do not allow the use of the endowment fund, the district may be taken over by another surrounding district (assuming another district would be willing and financially able to do so). If another surrounding district does not take over, the district will have to look to donations, inherited funds, and continued plot sales.

 

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