Cemetery Rules

Cemetery Rules


The early founders of the Goodland Cemetery wisely selected the present cemetery site located at the northern city limits of the City of Goodland, and under the guidance of these citizens and their successors, the contour of the prairie was transformed into the beautiful reality of the present.

The Goodland Cemetery is acknowledged to be one the most beautiful and well-kept cemeteries in the area. Recognizing that we are all interested in protecting and preserving the sanctity and beauty of the cemetery, rules and regulations have been established and are strictly enforced. These rules and regulations are necessary to preserve the cemetery from damage, misuse or degradation. Cooperation from all will ensure the preservation of the Goodland Cemetery for generations to come.

We trust that family and friends of the deceased, funeral homes, vault companies, and monument companies will cooperate with the City, the Cemetery Board, and the Caretaker, by observing the rules hereinafter set forth. These rules and regulations are subordinate to the city ordinances of the City of Goodland as they presently exist or as are hereinafter amended.

Cemetery Board

  1. The Goodland Cemetery Advisory Board is an agency of the City of Goodland and exists for the purpose of helping the City of Goodland effectively manage the cemetery.
  2. The Cemetery Board consists of a seven person board of advisors as outlined by the city ordinances of the City of Goodland, Kansas and exists for the purpose of making recommendations to the City’s governing body as to all major proposals and propositions for the construction and improvement of the Goodland Cemetery, including the acquisition of land and the acquisition of major equipment and facilities for cemetery purposes.
  3. The members of the Cemetery Board serve without pay and have only the welfare and the interest of the cemetery at heart.


  1. The services of the Caretaker of the cemetery are supplied under contract with the City of Goodland to oversee the day to day operation of the Goodland Cemetery.
  2. The Caretaker of the cemetery (“Caretaker”) may be an individual, a partnership or a corporation and shall be vested with responsibilities and authority as established per the employment contract, these Rules and Regulations, and as the Cemetery Board and the City shall from time to time authorize.

Sale of Lots

  1. All burial plots are sold subject to the rules of the City of Goodland now in force or which may hereafter be adopted and shall be used for no other purpose than the burial of the human dead.
  2. All the burial plots are sold subject to ordinary care and all work thereon will be done under the direction of the City Manager, by the Caretaker, except when permission is otherwise given.
  3. Persons desiring to purchase a burial plot should make application to the Goodland City Clerk, stating the name of the applicant, the address of the applicant, the space selected and the purchase price.
  4. No burial plot will be sold before the ground is surveyed, plotted and plans recorded in the office of the Goodland City Clerk and the price of each burial plot fixed by the City of Goodland. The City will act upon such application for the purchase of a burial plot or plots, and when accepted by the City, or its authorized agent, will become a binding purchase and sale contract.
  5. When the full purchase price has been paid, a cemetery certificate will be issued to the applicant or such person or persons as designated by the applicant and previously accepted by the City of Goodland.
  6. No individual shall at any one time be the owner of more than one (1) lot in the cemetery. Religious, patriotic, benevolent societies or orders may purchase and hold at any time, such number of plots as shall be agreed upon by the governing body of the City.
  7. For the protection of the plot owners in the Goodland Cemetery, and to prevent unauthorized interments, the office of the Goodland City Clerk will have a complete record of the ownership of all plots in the cemetery, and a complete record of all interments. Therefore, the following restrictions are necessary concerning sales transfers and assignments of all plots:
    1. No person shall sell, transfer or assign any plot, or any interest therein, without complying with these rules. All sales, transfers, or assignments contrary to these rules are void and of no effect and shall not be recognized by the City of Goodland.
    2. Any person(s) desiring to sell, transfer, or assign any plot, or any interest therein, shall convey, transfer and assign such plot or their interest therein to the City of Goodland. The sale of a burial plot to any person, corporation or any other entity other than the City of Goodland is prohibited. The original owner shall be reimbursed for his/her original purchase.
    3. A new certificate will not be issued to replace a certificate that has been lost or destroyed. A letter setting forth the ownership as disclosed by the records of the City of Goodland will be issued upon request.

Planting and Care of Plots

  1. All work pertaining to the care of burial plots will be done by the Caretaker.
  2. Acting for the best interest of the cemetery, the Caretaker shall have the authority to prune, remove or transplant any tree, shrub, or plant or anything upon a burial plot when he/she may deem such action necessary.
  3. No tree, shrub, or plant shall be planted, or removed without consent of the Caretaker who shall see that the rules of the Goodland Cemetery in regard thereto are complied with. Only varieties that will not injure adjoining burial plots or any structures located on the grounds of the cemetery shall be permitted.
  4. As it is difficult to maintain the beauty of a smooth, unbroken surface of buffalo grass, or to mow it properly on high mounds, graves will be level. Planting flowers on graves is also prohibited. All graves will receive the same general care perpetually along with adjoining portions of the burial plot.
  5. Plot owners shall not allow interments on their burial plots for remuneration. Nor shall any transfer of interest therein be valid except upon written authority of the City.
  6. No fence, coping or enclosure of any kind will be permitted on burial plots. The placing of glass covered boxes, chairs, benches, iron or other crosses, trellises, shells, toys, metal designs and similar articles upon graves or burial plots is inconsistent with the proper keeping of the grounds and the City will not be responsible for loss or damage to any portable articles left on any burial plot or grave.
  7. The watering of cemetery burial plots is allowed. A soaker hose is the recommended watering method. Use of sprinklers is discouraged, due to the damage they can cause to headstones and monuments. After water has been applied to a burial plot for two hours in any one-week period, the Caretaker shall have the right and it shall be his/her duty to turn off the water to this burial plot. Water left running on a particular gravesite so as to alter the appearance or cause sinking of adjacent gravesites will be the financial responsibility of those watering the graves. The cemetery Caretaker will determine the cost of the damage and will make the necessary repairs. The party or parties responsible for the damage will reimburse the City within ten (10) days of the repair of said damages


  1. The owner of each burial plot shall have the right to have erected by a monument company any proper headstones, monuments or memorials thereon after having first received the permission of the Caretaker. When erecting or improving a headstone, monument or memorial, the following are not permitted:
    1. Exposed concrete bases;
    2. Concrete or granite grave covers;
    3. Cement copings;
    4. Rock borders for any monuments, stones or trees, loose decorated rock;
    5. Trellises or fencing of any kind;
    6. Bushes other than those of an evergreen variety;
    7. No tree growing within the burial plot shall be cut down, removed or destroyed without first receiving the consent of the Caretaker.
  2. To prevent the excessive and unsightly crowding of memorials, there shall be allowed two burial markers on each plot to be placed as follows:
    1. A family marker may be placed at the East End of the burial plot.
    2. An individual marker may be placed at the West End of the burial plot.
  3. Cornerstones may not be placed on burial plots within the Goodland Cemetery.
  4. Granite or bronze is recommended as the best and most durable material for markers or memorials. Experience has shown that softer stones and wood disintegrate. Marble is a very poor material for this climate and should not be used. Wood, limestone, sandstone, soapstone, concrete and cement are considered unfit for such purpose and their use will not be permitted. Nor will any artificial substitute material be permitted.
  5. No memorial, stone, grave marker or monument shall be erected without first constructing a concrete base of sufficient strength for permanent support of such memorial, stone, grave marker or monument in an erect position. Foundations for memorials, stone, grave markers and/or monuments shall be not less than eight (8) inches in width and depth and be supported by footings consisting of two (2) six-inch (6”) post holes not less than eight (8) inches in depth. Any type of identifying stakes used by monument companies are hereby prohibited.
  6. Vaults, tombs, sarcophagi, mausoleums and columbarium are not recommended, but may be permitted, provided complete working plans and specifications for the same are first submitted to and approved by the State of Kansas and the City of Goodland. In all cases they must be furnished with crypts made of stone, slate, or granite, where interments can be made separately and hermetically sealed.
  7. No monument, vault, tomb, effigy, nor any structure whatsoever, nor any inscription thereon, which shall be determined by the city to be offensive or improper, shall be placed in or upon any burial plot; and should the burial plot owner fail to keep in good repair any stone or ornamental work on his/her burial plot, it shall be the duty of the Caretaker to enter upon such burial plot and repair or remove the said offensive, improper or dilapidated object or objects and make a reasonable charge therefore.
  8. If any vault, tomb, mausoleum, columbarium, sarcophagus or similar structure erected in or upon any burial plot shall become dilapidated or decayed, and said structure shall be determined by the city to be offensive, dangerous or detrimental to the general appearance of the grounds, the city shall have the right to cause such dilapidated structure to be removed and the bodies therein, if any, to be interred on said burial plot and the plot graded and improved to correspond with the surrounding grounds, making a reasonable charge therefore


It is the wish of the City of Goodland to provide services that address the needs of those dealing with loss and bereavement.  To help meet that need, an Ossuarium is available for above-ground placement of cremains of loved ones, insuring that they are protected and safe in a beautiful surrounding.  The Ossuarium offers two options of memorialization.  The first option is a Niche, which is an individual space within the Ossuarium that can hold one or two urns for cremains.  The second option is the Ossuary, which is a shared vault that utilizes individual, soft-sided urns for cremains.  Inurnment in the Ossuarium is not based on residency in the City of Goodland.  Anyone is welcome to use the facility.

    1. The City of Goodland will be responsible for the reservation of the ossuarium niches and ossuary space and will establish and maintain all records regarding the ossuarium.  Those records will include the names of those who have reserved a niche including their address, identification of the space selected, and the purchase price.  Other records that will be maintained include:
      1. A record of all certificate holders;
      2. Copies of all Ossuarium Certificates;
      3. A record of all inurnments;
      4. A record of all openings and closings;
      5. Copies of Inscription Orders;
      6. A record of all vacated niches,
      7. Cemetery Rules & Regulations; and
      8. Niche Maintenance Reports.
    2. Upon full payment of fees, an Ossuarium Certificate will be given to the person or persons who purchased the rights to the niche.  This is their proof of payment and should be kept in a safe place that is known to family members or friends.  A new certificate will not be issued to replace a certificate that has been lost or destroyed.  A letter setting forth the ownership as disclosed by the records of the City of Goodland will be issued upon request.  Certificate holder(s) will receive a copy of the Cemetery Rules and Regulations.  All niches and ossuary space are sold subject to the rules of the City of Goodland now in force or which may hereafter be adopted.
    3. The holder of the Ossuarium Certificate acquires no property rights in the Ossuarium or any of its niches.  Legal title to the Ossuarium and niches remain with the City at all times.  The certificate attests only to the right to inter cremains of the person(s) named on the certificate in the specific niche or ossuary space, also stated on the Certificate, pursuant to the Cemetery Rules and Regulations, as amended from time to time.  In the event of a discrepancy between the certificate and the administrative records, the latter shall take preference.
    4. An Ossuarium Certificate for a niche or ossuary space can only be obtained through the City of Goodland.  A niche or ossuary space must be paid in full before an inurnment.  There will be no exceptions to this rule. 
    5. Any person(s) desiring to sell, transfer, or assign a niche or ossuary reservation, or any interest therein, shall convey, transfer and assign such reservation, or their interest therein, to the City of Goodland.  The sale of a niche or ossuary reservation to any person, corporation or any other entity other than the City of Goodland is prohibited.  The original owner, his/her heirs and assigns, shall be reimbursed for the original purchase.  Any sales, transfers, or assignments contrary to these rules are void and of no effect and shall not be recognized by the City of Goodland.
    6. The City of Goodland does not provide any type of urns.  Family and or friends of the deceased are responsible for providing the urn whether inurnment will be in a niche or in the Ossuary.  It is important to understand the size restrictions prior to purchasing an urn for the Ossuarium.
    7. A niche is approximately 12” x 12” and will hold, at maximum, two 6” x 10” vase-style urns or two 5 ½” by 5 ½” by 7″ box-style urns.  Urns should be made of wood, ceramic, granite, copper, bronze, brass, marble, stone, stainless steel or similar type of material.   Cloth, cardboard, plastic bags, temporary urns and biodegradable urns are not acceptable.  All urns must be permanently labeled and identified with the name of the deceased.
    8. The ossuary urn must be of a soft-sided material such as satin, velvet, or other similar fabric and must have an inner plastic liner which is sealed.  No other containers are allowed.  All ossuary urns must be permanently labeled and identified with the name of the deceased.
    9. A niche or ossuary space shall be used for no other purpose than inurnment of human cremains.  Deceased pets and valuables will not be allowed in a niche. 
    10. Niche openings and closings can only be performed by the Cemetery Caretaker or, in his/her absence, by the city-contracted gravedigger.  Anyone else who attempts to open a niche, will be prosecuted under state and local laws.  Any acts of vandalism will also be prosecuted under state and local laws.
    1. The fee for a niche includes the opening and closing (one time only) and the inscription on the niche front.  The fee does not include any urn(s). 
    2. The fee for an ossuary space includes the opening and closing and the inscription on the memorial band.  The fee does not include an urn. 
    3. If a weekend or holiday opening and closing is desired, for either a niche or ossuary space, there will be a surcharge fee. 
    1. To maintain the ossuarium in a uniform manner, the City of Goodland will arrange for the inscription of all niche fronts and the Ossuary memorial band.  The color and font for all inscriptions will be standard.  Examples of niche front options are available to view at the office of the Goodland City Clerk. 
    2. Niche inscriptions will consist of the full name, birth date and death date.  
    3. It is recommended that niche inscriptions not take place until after the cremains are inurned.  However, if a certificate holder chooses to have a niche front inscribed prior to death, there will be an additional opening and closing fee that must be paid prior to the inscription. 
    4. A temporary niche replacement cover will be installed by the cemetery Caretaker until the inscribed cover is returned. 
    5. Memorial band inscriptions consist of the first, middle and last name, the birth year, and death year.  The inscription will not take place until after the cremains are inurned.   
    1. Inurnment arrangements must be made by the certificate holder, his/her heirs or assigns.  This can be done through a funeral home or by contacting the City of Goodland directly. Any orders from the funeral home are considered orders from the family.   
    2. Any funeral home costs are the responsibility of the certificate holder, his/her heirs or assigns, and are to be paid to the funeral home. 
    1. If cremains must be removed from a niche, by the family or an authorized person, a written request must be made to the City of Goodland. This request must explain the reason for the removal, who is making the request, their relationship to the deceased, the day and time requested for the removal, and who will take possession of the cremains.  Additional information or documentation may be required.  An opening and closing fee will be assessed at the time of the opening at the current rate.  The City of Goodland will exercise reasonable care in making a removal, but it assumes no liability for damage to any urn in the process of making a removal.
    2. If a niche is vacated, and the niche front has already been inscribed, the cost of a replacement cover is the responsibility of the requestor and must be paid prior to the niche opening.  Once a niche is vacated, the City of Goodland will be free to reserve that niche to another party.
    3. Cremains that are inurned into the Ossuary are to remain inurned permanently and cannot be removed.  
    1. Flowers, plants and wreaths are the only things allowed to be placed near the ossuarium at any time, except at the time of inurnment.  Removal of those, flowers, plants and wreaths will be at the discretion of the Caretaker.
    2. No decorations are allowed on the ossuarium(s).  No modifications are allowed on the niche fronts or memorial band.  Taping, wiring, gluing, painting, or attaching anything to the ossuarium is prohibited.
    1. The City of Goodland will be responsible for maintenance and repairs to the Ossuarium.  The City will take all reasonable care to insure the safety of inurned cremains.  However, the City of Goodland will not be held responsible for the loss or destruction of inurned cremains due to vandalism, acts of nature or any unforeseen circumstance. 
    2. In the event that the ossuarium requires repairs in order to maintain its integrity, the certificate holder agrees to permit the temporary removal of any cremains until those repairs are completed.  The cremains will be returned to the proper niche by the City of Goodland.

Internments and Funerals

  1. No one shall bury any dead in the cemetery without first procuring, from the City Clerk, a burial permit naming the deceased and describing the burial plot, the lot and block in said cemetery in which the burial is to be made.  No grave shall be opened until the full purchase price of the burial plot has been received by the City and a certificate for such plot issued.  It shall be unlawful for any person to bury in the cemetery without first procuring a permit as hereinbefore provided.
  2. In cooperation with the City of Goodland, no burials shall be permitted in the Goodland Cemetery on Sundays, Memorial Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Veteran’s Day, President’s Day, or Labor Day.
  3. When a delay will cause unreasonable hardship or inconvenience, interments may be made on those excepted days above set forth by special permission from the City’s governing body.
  4. Orders for interments should be given in time to allow 24 hours to prepare the grave.
  5. Funerals within the grounds shall be under the control of the Caretaker.
  6. No burials shall be permitted in the Goodland Cemetery except in those receptacles approved by the State of Kansas, the top of which must be at least two (2) feet below the surface of the ground.
  7. The grave shall be a minimum depth of five and a half feet (5 ½’) and of sufficient dimensions to receive the casket and vault or other outside container and leave at least twenty-four inches (24”) between the top of the outside container and ground level; except that a grave for an infant, forty-eight inches (48) or less in length, need not be five and a half feet (5 ½’) deep provided that at least twenty-four inches (24”) of cover remains between the outside container and ground level. No grave shall be dug that shall be of greater size than will fit on a single burial space.  Cremations will be minimum depth of three feet (3’).  It shall be the duty of the Caretaker to see that such rules are enforced.
  8. Only one (1) interment will be allowed and only one (1) grave in a plot, except that a parent or guardian and infant or infants may be buried in the same plot.  Two infants may be buried in the same plot, if they are buried at the same time.  In the case of cremations, not more than two (2) cremated bodies may be buried in the same burial plot.  There shall be allowed in the same burial plot, one casket and the remains of one cremation.  Graves shall be opened and closed only by City authorized contractors and with the knowledge and direction of the Caretaker.  No mound shall be raised on any grave exceeding three (3) inches above the surface grounds.
  9. In order to preserve the beauty and uniformity of the cemetery, no grave shall be covered with anything other than dirt.  No cement, stone, granite, marble or artificial substance may be used for the covering of any grave.
  10. The Caretaker shall not be held responsible for mistakes occurring for want of precise and proper instructions for the particular space in a burial plot where the interment is wanted. 
  11. Funeral Directors and/or families are requested to arrange a time for burials giving the authorized contractor time to close the grave before dark. 
  12. Funeral Directors and/or families in charge of burials in the Goodland Cemetery will be responsible for the fee of opening and closing of graves.
  13. There must be at least one-hour time between burial services conducted within the Goodland Cemetery.  It shall be the responsibility of the Funeral Director and/or family to cooperate fully with one another to assure compliance with this policy.  If there are multiple services within close proximity in the cemetery, only one funeral will be permitted in the morning and one in the afternoon, with at least a two hour time period between burial services.
  14. Any person(s) desiring a disinterment in the Goodland Cemetery shall first contact the City Clerk.  The individual(s) shall supply the City Clerk with the name of the deceased, documentation designating him or her as authorized representative(s) or next of kin of the deceased, proper identification, the location of burial, date of the death, and notarized release and disclaimer signed by representative(s) or next of kin.  Order of priority followed for the next of kin: 1.) Spouse, 2.) Children, 3.) Adult Grandchildren, 4.) Parents, and 5.) Siblings.  The City will collect an administrative fee of $50 to be deposited in the General Fund of the City of Goodland.  If the disinterred body or cremains are to be buried in the City of Goodland Cemetery, a burial permit is required for the interment in accordance with City Codes.  The City Clerk will inform the Caretaker that permission has been obtained from the City of Goodland for the disinterment.  Any costs assessed by the Caretaker are the responsibility of the individual(s) requesting the disinterment.
  15. Funeral Directors and/or families that fail to comply with the prescribed rules may be denied interment privileges in the Goodland Cemetery.


  1. To assist visitors in locating gravesites, the Goodland Cemetery features an electronic, touch-screen Kiosk which provides basic data on individuals interred in the cemetery.  This data includes the deceased’s name, date of birth (if available), date of death, and grave location.  Data updates are made to the Kiosk on a quarterly basis by the City Clerk’s office.
  2. Information about the deceased will appear on the Kiosk when the deceased or the deceased’s family has purchased a cemetery plot and burial permit, an Ossuarium niche, or ossuary space, and remains or cremains of the deceased have been either interred or inurned in the Goodland Cemetery.  If the deceased is not interred or inurned in the Goodland Cemetery, but a permanent marker which includes the deceased name is placed on a plot or on the Ossuarium in the Goodland Cemetery, the deceased’s name, date of birth (if available), date of death, and plot or Ossuarium location may appear on the Kiosk upon purchase of a Kiosk permit.  In addition, the Kiosk will indicate the location of the deceased’s remains as it has been reported to the City Clerk’s office. 
  3. The Kiosk also allows families of the deceased a manner in which to memorialize their loved ones through the use of pictures, videos, obituaries and/or other information.  Any information depicted on the Kiosk, other than the basic data, will be at the family’s own expense.  The family shall contact the City Clerk’s office with such request to ensure information is in an acceptable format and is properly submitted for updating.  The fee for all such requests shall be paid prior to the information being submitted for update. 

The Cemetery Chapel

  1. The Cemetery Chapel is for the use of owners of burial plots and ossuarium certificate holders, their families and friends, and for religious, patriotic, benevolent societies, or orders recognized by the governing body of the City.
  2. The Chapel may be used for memorial services and funerals through arrangements made with the Caretaker and funeral homes.
  3. All flowers, memorial items, and other items must be removed following the use of the Chapel.  Failure to do so will result in the cost of clean-up charged to the party or parties, with payment to be due to the City within ten (10) days.

General Rules

  1. The Goodland Cemetery is within the confines of the limits of the City of Goodland; all ordinances of the City of Goodland apply.
  2. Persons must enter or leave the cemetery through the designated entrances. 
  3. The Goodland Cemetery has been platted with roads and avenues set forth on the plats.  However, in order to minimize expense in the new portion of the cemetery, roads and avenues shall be developed only as required as the new cemetery portion is used.  
  4. While driving within the cemetery, drivers must observe a 15-mile per hour speed limit and must stay on the roads provided for traffic.
  5. Visitors must not injure trees or shrubs, nor pick flowers while in the cemetery. 
  6. Sitting or climbing on monuments or markers is prohibited.
  7. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted within the cemetery.
  8. Children will not be permitted unless accompanied by an adult.
  9. No pets or animals of any kind shall be allowed in the cemetery.
  10. Bringing firearms into the Cemetery is prohibited, except by military escort accompanying a veteran’s funeral or attending a memorial service.
  11. All persons are reminded that the grounds are sacredly devoted to the burial or inurnment of the dead and that the penalties of the law will be strictly enforced including all cases of wanton injury or disturbance and disregard of rules and regulations.  Visitors are asked to bring violations or breaches of the rules and regulations herein set forth to the attention of the Caretaker.
  12. Paper, boxes, or withered flowers must not be deposited in the roadways, gutters, walks, or burial plots, but must be removed from the grounds or deposited in receptacles provided for that purpose.
  13. Memorial Day flowers and decorations will be removed and disposed of each year after Memorial Day for maintenance purposes.  Exceptions will be made for flowers displayed in permanent monument-type vases, decorations designed to be attached to the monument, and for markers of military and benevolent societies or orders providing the marker is kept in line with the monument.  All other flowers and decorations, artificial and live, will be removed.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.  The date flowers and decorations are to be picked up will be published in the City Newspaper and posted on the City’s website.  These procedures will be carried out each year.
  14. Signs, notices, or advertisements of contractors, stone cutters, funeral directors or any other person will not be permitted on the cemetery grounds, except those that identify ownership of temporary grave markers and those allowed by City of Goodland (i.e. Kiosk).
  15. Workmen must suspend their labors, if in the immediate vicinity of an interment or inurnment, until the conclusion of the services.
  16. All rubbish made by builders or their employees must be removed daily.
  17. Builders or their employees failing to conform to the rules of the cemetery or direction of the Caretaker will be prohibited from working on the grounds.
  18. Individuals, monument companies and their representatives, funeral homes and their representatives, and all others using the Goodland Cemetery, must conform to the regulations as above set forth.  Failure to comply will result in the Governing Body of Goodland taking appropriate action.
  19. Any rules or regulations previously adopted in conflict with the aforementioned are hereby repealed.

ADOPTED AND APPROVED this 15th day of July, 2019.