Cemetery Rules and Regulations
7-5C-1: Hours of Operation and Access:
The City cemetery shall be open to the public during daylight hours. Cemetery personnel will be available for business only from eight o’clock (8:00) A.M. to five o’clock (5:00) P.M., Monday through Friday.
- Access to the Cemetery: The Main Entrance gate on E 151st St S will be open Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. The farthest South (2nd) gate on S Sheridan Rd works on a sensor and can be accessed 7 days a week from 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
- Appointments are needed for grave site selection to ensure both the Cemetery Superintendent and the Cemetery Administrator are available to assist families. Funeral homes must inform families of this policy, and assist them in scheduling appointments. These appointments will be scheduled for no later than 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday in order to ensure that the family and City Staff have sufficient time to process the grave location and necessary paper work before closing time.
- Employees assigned to the City cemetery are not expected to work Sundays or legal holidays, except when absolutely necessary for the preservation of order or as specified in other sections of this article.
- No City employee shall perform any work for remuneration within the City cemetery for lot owners or visitors.
- No employee of the City shall sell monuments, flowers or any other item for use within the cemetery.
- No grave openings or interments will be allowed on Sundays or legally designated City Holidays.
- Payable: Gratuity Prohibited: All fees or charges for service are payable to the City, office of the City Treasurer. Patrons of the cemetery shall not pay any fee or gratuity to any cemetery employee of the City.
- Due upon Purchase: Payment in full is due upon purchase of interment spaces.
- Selected grave spaces may be held for up to 90 days prior to purchase to allow funds to be collected for that purchase. The spaces will not be considered purchased or owned until payment is made in full. No partial payments or payment plans will be allowed. No deed will be created until the spaces are paid in full. No interment will occur until payment is received in full. If payment is not received at the end of 90 days, the spaces will become available again for other purchasers.
- Payment In Advance: All fees for services rendered by employees of the City are payable in advance. No services shall be performed prior to payment in full except with the prior written authorization of the City Manager or his designee.
- Schedule of Fees: The schedule of fees for the City cemetery shall be in such amounts as established by resolution of the city council.
- The rate for the purchase of a grave space for a Resident is defined as being within the City of Bixby Fence Line. Exceptions may be granted to former residents who lived in Bixby for more than 10 years.
- Hours Permitted: Funerals may be held in the cemetery no earlier than nine o’clock (9:00) A.M. and conclude by five o’clock (5:00) P.M., Monday through Saturday.
- Conclusion of Services: Unless prior arrangements have been made and approved by the City Manager or his designee, arrivals to the cemetery for burials and graveside services after two o'clock (2:00) P.M. will be subject to an additional fee.
- Commencement and Conclusion of Services: An expected time of arrival to the cemetery with the intent to inter any remains and/or conduct a funeral service shall be given at the same time a request is sent for any services and/or the opening of a grave space. If there are any changes, reasonable notice shall be given to the Cemetery Administrator and/or the Cemetery Superintendent, so as to document and prepare accordingly.
- Funeral homes must contact Cemetery Administrator as soon as they have had a request from a family to make funeral and burial arrangements to reduce misunderstandings and allow for ample time for Staff to prepare.
7-5C-4: Conveyance of Cemetery Lots; Abandoned Lots:
- Deed: Cemetery spaces shall be conveyed by deed signed by the City Mayor and countersigned by the City Clerk, under the seal of the City. The deed shall show the price for which the lots are sold and specify that the person to whom it is issued is the owner of the space or spaces described therein by number, as laid down in the plat, for the purpose of interment. The deed shall vest in the purchaser and the heirs a right to the space or spaces, for the sole purpose of interment. All abandoned spaces shall revert to the City.
- No Transfer Provision: Once a cemetery space has been purchased from the City of Bixby, there will be a Non-Transfer Provision in effect for 180 days following this conveyance. If a space is conveyed within that 180 days to a non-resident, there will be a fee charged to the purchaser that equals the difference between the Resident and Non-Resident Fee. The rate for a Resident is defined as being within the City of Bixby Fence Line. Residents will need to check with Cemetery Administrator for confirmation of Resident Rates.
- Transfer of Conveyance: Written notification of the transfer or conveyance of any space shall be made to the Cemetery Administrator.
- Proof of Ownership: Proof of lot ownership must be filed with the Cemetery Administrator prior to any interment.
- Burial Cards: Two (2) burial cards shall be completed for each interment stating the name of the person to be buried, the owner of the space, the block, lot and space number, and the date of the interment. The burial cards shall be signed by the Cemetery Administrator or his/her designee, or by an heir at law of the decedent or personal representative. The cards shall become a permanent record to be maintained by the City of all interments.
- Affidavits/Owner’s Consent: An owner of a space who desires to allow a burial to be made in the space of which he/she is the owner, shall sign a consent allowing the same before the interment is made as more fully set forth in section 7-5C-8 of this article.
7-5C-5: Purchase of Lots by Licensed Funeral Homes:
- The City may sell and convey cemetery lots to a licensed funeral home for the limited purposes of such funeral home acting as agent for a family or individual, hereinafter designated as principal and making such designation in writing.
- The scope of agency as provided herein shall be limited to the agent’s principal having immediate need to such cemetery space, or need in the foreseeable future. For purpose of definition, “foreseeable future” is intended to mean that period of time of six (6) months or less. This section shall not convey, directly or indirectly, any intent, option or authority for a licensed funeral home, or any other individual or entity, to purchase lots within the City cemetery for resale or commercial enterprise.
7-5C-6: Cemetery Expenses and Collections:
All monies received by the City from the sale of lots or from interments or from any other source of cemetery revenue shall be paid daily to the City Treasurer, who shall deposit the same in the City treasury. Expenses incurred for the upkeep, repair and adornment of the cemetery may be paid by the City upon proper warrants.
7-5C-7: Grave Spaces: Lot Regulations:
- Cemetery lots shall be used only for the burial of the human dead.
- The Cemetery and the Legal Description for grave locations are broken down by Block, Lot, and Space Number. Each lot has 6 spaces. Lot spaces are numbered from North to South (Space 1 to Space 6).
- For traditional casket burials, the head of the coffin is placed on the West side of the space.
- All grave spaces sold are subject to perpetual maintenance and all rules and regulations enacted by the City.
- “Perpetual Care” at the Bixby Cemetery shall mean mowing of the grounds at reasonable intervals, spraying to control weeds, keeping the grounds clean of liter and debris, pruning shrubs and trees as needed, and maintaining the grade of grave spaces to match the surrounding terrain.
- The City does not water grave spaces, nor lay sod as they close a grave space. Grass can take a full season, or up to 6 months or more to grow in a plot. Families are responsible for watering any sod they have provided to be placed on the grave space.
- The City does not bind itself to maintain, repair, or replace any monuments, headstones, markers or anything whatsoever attached thereto or placed upon grave spaces. If there is an issue with any such item, we will contact the funeral home or family. Please see further in this section for Rules and Regulations relating to work to be done within the Bixby Cemetery.
- Flat Markers: Ground shifting is a common reason for markers to become uneven or skewed. Given the circumstances, the Cemetery Superintendent can determine if it is within the City’s ability to address the issue with the marker, such as to make flush with the surrounding terrain. If the City determines the work cannot be executed by Cemetery Staff, the family will be contacted.
- The City will determine the need to remove any existing tree within a block of the cemetery. Trees that need to be removed at grave spaces (i.e. to protect a headstone) are removed at the cost and responsibility of the space owners. Prior approval from the Cemetery Administrator is required for anyone other than City Staff to remove a tree. Please see Item “Q” below for instructions on this policy and process. No new or replacement trees are allowed to be planted at any time.
- Grave Space Size: A grave space is four (4’) feet wide and twelve (12’) feet long. Headstones and their foundations (pad) shall only be installed, reasonably centered, along and/or parallel to the Western-most four (4’) foot edge of the space. Any remains to be interred shall be reasonably centered and within the parameters of the same space to the East of the established/designated row reserved only for headstones/raised markers of any type and their corresponding foundations.
- Lot owners shall not create or erect improvements, monuments, markers of any type or otherwise install anything or structure upon any grave space. Such improvements or markers as may be placed or installed shall be done by or under the direction of the Cemetery Superintendent, their designee, or authorized employees or officers according to the specifications of the City within normal business hours (Mon.- Fri. 8am-5pm).
- No enclosure of any kind, including, but not limited to, stone borders, fences, coping, hedges, ditches or the like, shall be permitted on or around any grave space or lot.
- Benches, flagpoles, statuary, solar lights, urns, flower pots, shepherd hooks, boxes, shells, ammunition, glass, plastic, other breakables, or similar articles of any description are inconsistent with the intended usage of the cemetery and are prohibited. Such articles, if found on the premises, may be removed without notice.
- In Blocks 13, 14, and 15, no more than one memorial marker/monument will be permitted on each grave space.
- Special corner markers may be installed with permission of the Cemetery Superintendent. Such markers shall be installed by employees of the City, or their designee, at the sole expense of the grave space owner. The corner markers shall be of granite, marble, slate or bronze construction and set flush with the existing surrounding terrain, and may not encroach on any other grave space. Corner markers installed on the West side of spaces will reduce the overall space available for monument/headstones/markers and foundations. Before ordering, visit with the Cemetery Superintendent to determine the parameters of the work.
- No mausoleum or mausoleum like structures shall be permitted.
- Funeral homes and individuals may place wreaths, grave blankets, flowers and temporary plants on grave spaces for funerals and holidays. Wreaths, blanket wreaths, flowers, or any other adornments must be pinned to the ground so they do not blow away. No planting of trees, shrubs, flowers or the like shall be permitted. No articles of any nature shall be placed upon the surface of the grave space except as herein specifically set out. They will be removed.
- To facilitate maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery, all decorations, flowers, wreaths or any other articles of adornment which are not in permanent vases shall be removed from the grave space within five (5) days of placement or no later than five (5) days after any legal holiday. Vases must be secured to the monument located within the designated row of monuments. They may not be placed directly on the ground. Lot owners should be aware that artificial flowers tend to fade and disintegrate over time due to effects of the weather. The Cemetery Superintendent reserves the right to remove and/or dispose of any floral decorations (fresh cut and/or artificial) when they become wilted, discolored, damaged or unsightly.
- Any item found on the ground, lot, or grave which interferes with mowing and trimming of the cemetery grounds may be removed without notice.
- Working on monuments/headstones/markers is prohibited without written permission of the space owner, or their designated heir. All such work must be reported to the City Administrator before such work is started.
- Any and all persons installing/erecting/creating any monument/foundation/marker of any type; or performing any other type of work at the Cemetery, aside from a City employee, must have liability insurance. Proof of insurance must be provided to the Cemetery Administrator.
- Any work to be done inside the Cemetery by someone other than a City employee or monument company must be arranged in advance with the Cemetery Administrator. Proof of license, bond and insurance (as applies) must be provided. Work shall commence only after the request has been reviewed by the Cemetery Superintendent and approved by the Public Works Director or his/her designee. A signed written agreement must be in place.
- Monument companies must submit a completed City of Bixby Monument Work Order form regarding a headstone/monument/marker order to the Cemetery Administrator for approval PRIOR to ordering or production. The City will review the order, existing cemetery records, and the existing space where it is to be placed to make sure the order follows the City’s rules and regulations, and there are no issues or concerns. Once reviewed and approved, the monument company will be notified.
- Veteran’s Marker/Headstone Orders: The City Administrator needs to be notified as soon as a Veteran’s Marker or Headstone is ordered with the Veteran’s Administration. A copy of the VA Form 40-1330 must be provided. For more information on Veteran’s Headstones/Markers, see 7-5C-11 “HONORING VETERAN’S”
- Foundation Required: No headstone/monument/marker of any description that is to be installed within the established/designated row of headstones shall hereafter be erected/installed or by any manner created on any lot or grave in the cemetery unless there is a concrete or granite foundation (also referred to as a pad) provided. Foundations must be reinforced, cured, and be of a size that is at minimum, four inches (4") in thickness with a minimum of two inches (2") of space between any adjacent grave borders that are not owned/involved in the placement of said foundation/monument/marker (maximum length and width for a single space's marker/monument foundation is 44"L x 24"W, double space 92"L x 24” W, triple space 140"L x 24"W so on and so forth). This foundation must be installed flush with the ground/natural grade of the block and reasonably centered, along and/or parallel to the Western-most four (4') foot edge of the space, within the exact location that will be marked by the Cemetery Superintendent or his designee. Any monument requiring a foundation, must be reasonably anchored to its corresponding foundation. “Wet Pour” foundations/pads will not be allowed.
- Materials: All monuments/markers of any type shall be made of granite, marble, slate or bronze; foundations shall be made of reinforced concrete or granite; any and all monument accessories including but not limited to, urns, vases, and the like must be reasonably attached/anchored to the monument, and shall be made of marble, granite, slate or bronze. If circumstances require securing an accessory to the foundation, monument companies should include that information in their work order. Absolutely no glass shall be placed/used in/on graves, grave spaces, headstones, markers, foundations and/or any area within the cemetery. Any items not anchored to the monument are subject to removal.
- Scheduling Placement of Grave Marker: A minimum notice of 48 hours is required for the placement of any and all foundation/monument/marker installed within the cemetery.
- Placement of Marker: Memorial monuments/headstones/footstones/markers of any type are to be installed centered between the corresponding grave borders, which will be defined by marks made by the Cemetery Superintendent or their designee. The monuments/headstones/footstones/markers shall not encroach upon any other grave space's border; nor shall not detract from the appearance/placement of monuments/headstones/footstones/markers of any type within the cemetery, as determined by the Cemetery Superintendent, or their designee. The removal of excavated dirt and cleanup of the grave space shall be performed promptly by the party preparing the foundation/monument/footstone/marker of any type. The designated area to place excess dirt shall be determined by the Cemetery Superintendent or their designee prior to or upon completion of said work.
- Monument Size: As of the date of approval of these current regulations, a 36” height threshold will be in effect for monuments. This height threshold begins from the flush concrete foundation. No monuments/foundations/markers of any type hereafter with a width exceeding twenty-four inches (24") shall be installed, to allow necessary space for interment.
Any pre-existing monuments that have been installed prior to the approval date of these current regulations that exceeds the new 36” height threshold, or the 24” width maximum and therefore need to be moved in order to excavate for a burial, will be moved at the expense of the space owner. Families choosing to install new monuments prior to burial that exceed the 36” height threshold, will be charged an additional fee per space to have the monument picked up and moved at the time of need for the open and close of corresponding space(s). This fee will be due and payable before the Monument Work Order can be approved.
Any articles of any description found on the grave space that are inconsistent with the regulations listed herein that are within the area necessary for excavation, are subject to removal to make necessary room for the excavation of the same burial.
- Reserved Graves: If any monuments/headstones/footstones/benches/markers of any type need to be removed, either temporarily or permanently, to allow for the performance of a burial, the cost of doing so may be added to the opening and closing fees of the same burial. Benches that have been installed in, on or around an unoccupied grave space area that interfere with the interment of remains, shall be removed by the Cemetery Superintendent or their designee, and may be subject to the same fees as listed above.
- Lot Regulations: Grave spaces and/or markers of any type, installed within the grave spaces, which are not located within the established/designated row of headstones, must be flush with the natural grade of the surrounding terrain and shall not be raised above the established grade. If a grave space includes cremains burials, there will be a limit of no more than two (2) flat markers allowed per space.
- Noncomplying Markers/Items: Any foundation/monument/marker of any type or any item installed and/or that currently exists within the Bixby Cemetery that does not meet the criteria defined here in the line items in this section, after the effective date hereof, shall be considered inconsistent with the intended usage of the cemetery and may be subject to temporary or permanent removal at the lot owner's/monument company's expense, and may be replaced only upon compliance with all of the requirements listed herein. If the article in question does not meet all the requirements listed herein, it shall not be replaced onto any grave space, and will be placed in a designated area chosen by the Cemetery Superintendent or their designee.
- Notice Requirement: Notice shall be given to the Cemetery Administrator at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of any interment.
- Burial Affidavit/Owner Consent: No interment will be permitted in any space without the written consent of the owner, or if the owner is deceased, one of the owner’s heirs at law or personal representative. Such consent shall be filed with the Cemetery Administrator.
- Burial Cards: Burial cards must be completed, signed and kept on permanent record for each and every interment in the Bixby Cemetery, including all cremains interments. For full description see 7-5C-4: (E).
- Requirement of an Outside Container for Traditional, Casket Burial in Bixby Cemetery: A vault or grave liner, henceforth referred to as an outside container, shall be required for any and all traditional casket burials. Outside containers shall be constructed of high-strength, reinforced concrete or metal.
- Cremains Burial: While a container is not required for the burial of cremains, acceptable articles/materials used to contain cremains for interment include, but are not limited to; plastic temporary vault/urn, metal cremation vault/urn, marble/granite/wood/polystyrene vault/urn. The standard size space dug for the open and close of a cremains interment is 2’ x 2’ x 2’. Most cremains containers will accommodate this size space.
- Equipment and Accessories: Funeral home will need to make arrangements to provide a lowering device, tents, chairs, and any other equipment or accessories needed.
- Bixby Cemetery Personnel are not available to assist in removing caskets from any vehicle, or moving or lowering outside containers into grave spaces. It will be necessary for funeral homes to ensure that vault company vendors are adequately staffed to provide these services at the cemetery.
- Multiple Remains in a Single Space: Up to 3 cremains may be interred in a single space. If, and only if, the space has a traditional casket within an outside container interred previous to any other interments planned for the space in question, up to two (2) additional cremains may be interred in the same space. If no casket within an outside container has been or is planned to be interred in the space in question, up to three (3) cremains may be interred in a single space.
- Disinterment and re-interment must be arranged in advance with the Cemetery Administrator.
- Oklahoma State Dept. of Heath Requirements: If disinterring a body to another cemetery, or disinterring for the purpose of cremation, an approved permit from the Oklahoma State Dept. of Health is required prior to disinterment. If disinterring and re-interring inside the same cemetery, a Notice is required to be submitted to the Oklahoma State Health Department within (5) days after this action. Either of these must be done through a licensed funeral director.
- Before the removal of the body of any person buried in our cemetery, written consent from the owner(s) of the lot must be provided to the Cemetery Administrator.
- Unknown Bodily Remains Discovered: When the bodily remains of an unknown person are discovered in an unidentified and unmarked grave, the remains may be removed to some other gravesite within the cemetery if no record exists as to a sale or conveyance of the space and the City is without knowledge that a body had been buried in the gravesite if the space has been sold to another person.
- Unacceptable Payment: If payment for interment, grave space or other cemetery fee is made through payment by a forged or false check, draft or other bill of exchange, the City shall have the right to remove such bodily remains to a single interment space in any lot it may select in the cemetery, separate and apart from the original interment.
7-5C-10: Visitor Rules:
- Entry: Entry upon the cemetery premises shall be made by use of the drives provided and indicated upon the plat of the cemetery.
- Driving Within Grounds: All persons driving in or through the grounds are required to stay upon the driveways. The speed limit in the cemetery shall not exceed 15 miles per hour.
- Firearms: No persons shall be allowed to discharge firearms within the cemetery except for the conduct of a Military Honors funeral demonstration arranged by the Veteran’s Administration using trained, uniformed, and active military members for that purpose. Trained, uniformed, and active police and/or firefighters are also exempt from this rule. Any others will be in violation of City Code.
- Signs and Advertising: No person shall install or affix to cemetery property or display any sign or other advertising device.
- Animals Prohibited: No animals shall be permitted in the cemetery.
7-5C-11: Honoring Veterans:
The City honors Veteran’s at the cemetery in the following ways:
- The Cemetery has a Veteran’s Monument where families can have the name engraved of their loved one who has served in our U.S. Military and is buried in the City’s cemetery. Please contact the Cemetery Administrator for more information.
- VA headstones/markers: A family can honor their loved one with a military marker and/or headstone provided by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA Form 40-1330). A funeral home can assist families with this process, or the Cemetery Administrator can be contacted for more information. The City Administrator needs to be notified at the time of ordering, be provided a copy of the VA Form 40-1330 and Proof of Military Service, and will need to gather additional information. No monuments or markers are permitted to be set in the Bixby Cemetery without prior approval from the Cemetery Administrator.
- Memorial Day Weekend: A group designated by the City may facilitate a special commemorative “Memorial Day Service” on Memorial Day that includes a variety of events. Flags are put up throughout the cemetery. A civic organization may have small flags placed at the grave spaces that have an existing Veteran’s marker.