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“This legislation puts a mechanism in place to deal with it so that the families of loved ones at Cullman Memory Gardens and any other similar situation can get some relief from the disrespect they’ve experienced in this terrible situation.” – Randall Shedd Proposes Cullman Memory Gardens Solutions

Randall Shedd Proposes Cullman Memory Gardens Solutions

Randall Shedd Proposes Cullman Memory Gardens Solutions

District 11 Alabama State Representative Randall Shedd (R) Fairview plans to sponsor legislation to address situations such as the problems at Cullman Memory Gardens cemetery (1516 Bolte Road SE, Cullman, AL 35055) in the upcoming Alabama legislative sessions:

“We’ve waited long enough for a solution at Memory Gardens. I’m afraid we’re going to see more situations like it in the the future. This legislation puts a mechanism in place to deal with it so that the families of loved ones at Cullman Memory Gardens and any other similar situation can get some relief from the disrespect they’ve experienced in this terrible situation.”

 

Randall Shedd Proposes Cullman Memory Gardens Solutions

Randall Shedd Proposes Cullman Memory Gardens Solutions

Representative Shedd expects the legislation would do four things:

1. Authorize the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office to provide inmate labor to maintain the cemeteries acquired by the county cemetery board. (Sheriff Gentry has graciously agreed to do this).

2. Designate $50,000 annually to the cemetery board to purchase equipment and provide for operational expenses. The funding would come from new revenue generated to the Cullman County Commission General Fund by the countywide sales tax. The funding for the board’s operations would come from growth from the sales tax above and beyond 2015 levels so that the money to fund this board would NOT take money away from any current services or programs of the county.

3. The first four months of this fiscal year shows the county commission general fund with $256,000 (approximately $750,000 annually) in new money from growth, so this legislation will not take money away that was being used. Funding this legislation will come from unexpected new money to the county.

4. Authorize the Cullman County Commission to utilize future countywide sales tax revenue designated to the County Commission General Fund to appropriate to the new cemetery board to purchase equipment and necessary operations for any cemetery the board acquires, in addition to the $50,000 annually provided by this local legislation.

 

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Randall Shedd Proposes Cullman Memory Gardens Solutions

Shedd said this legislation is important to the community, especially for the following reasons:

• Those who have gone on before us established what we enjoy in our community today and they deserve to rest in a place that is well-kept in a dignified manner.

• It is painful for the families of those resting at Cullman Memory Gardens and any other similar situations to constantly see disrespect for their loved ones.

• The state has failed these families by not sufficiently regulating for-profit cemeteries in Alabama to prevent these type situations.

• This is a way to change bad situations to places the community can be proud of instead of negative sights, potential health hazards and negative publicity about our community.

• This is a mechanism that will provide a way to present a better view of our community to people visiting our community from other areas.

 

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Representative Shedd went on to say:

“Many years ago, our community set up a tax structure that would increase tax revenue without increasing tax rates, a shared countywide sales tax. As our community increases business activity, our tax revenue increases without raising taxes.

Our area is fortunate that county sales tax revenue is growing substantially, therefore by using new revenue and authorizing the county commission to use future sales tax revenue generated and not currently obligated, this would not take money away from any current operations of the county and utilizing inmate labor would reduce the cost of the operation.”

 

Representative Shedd plans to conduct forums in the community about the proposed legislation and invites public comments about it. “If anyone has suggestions that would improve the legislation, I would certainly make changes to the bill,” Shedd added.

 

Randall Shedd Proposes Cullman Memory Gardens Solutions

Staff Writers

The staff writers at Cullman Today are a collaborative group of citizen reporters sharing the writing of stories based upon their personal interests and work schedules.

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