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Rules and Regulations - Tolland Cemetery Commission
Tolland Cemetery Commission
Tolland, MA

Purpose: It being duly established that the Town of Tolland has accepted the provisions of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter ten, section two hundred thirty six and also Chapter 114, section one hundred and ten through section forty- three.  These being to include any and all revisions or amendments which affect the Town’s establishment, care and maintenance of public cemeteries.

The Selectmen of the Town of Tolland have appointed Commissioners to carry out responsibility as follows:
  • Authority
The responsibility of care and maintenance of Tolland’s cemeteries falls under the direct control of the elected Commissioners and/or their designate.

  • Meetings
The Commission will meet publicly, regularly as established by the Commission, at times of posted notice, and upon call of an emergency matter.  A change of the date and time of any posted meeting may be revised or canceled due to holidays, inclement weather, sickness or other factor beyond the control of the Commission.

  • Officers
As directed by the General Laws, a chairman, a secretary and other positions will be named and placed on record for the ensuing year.  This will be done at a Spring meeting.

The following rules and regulations issued by the Tolland Cemetery Commission do not replace the conditions and restrictions on cemetery lots, maintenance, care, powers, and responsibilities as set forth under the Massachusetts General Laws, but are intended to specify, expand and clarify them.

Rules and Regulations

I. Terms of Lot Sales and Ownership

1. All lots are sold and transferred by a recorded deed issued by the Town f Tolland as directed under the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 114, Section 24.

2. No lots shall be sold to any organization, group or association.  Lots may be sold to individuals who are current residents of the Town, past residents or relatives of these individuals.  Any exemption to these the conditions require the approval vote of the majority of the commissioners.

3. The right granted to any lot or grave within the limits of the cemeteries is a sole and exclusive right of burial of the human dead and the erection of a memorial monument or marker.  The Commission has specifications and standards and restrictions governing the erection of monuments and markers.

4. Purchase of a lot, consisting of one or more graves, must be made by appointment with one of the members of the Commission or their designate.

5. Current costs are available from the Tolland Cemetery Commission.  Costs will be reviewed annually and may be revised over time.

6. Payments of a lot shall be made by check payable to the Town of Tolland – Cemetery Commission.

7. The costs of all lots include perpetual care.

8. A burial lot may consist of space for one or more burials.  Each burial lot may contain one casket and three cremation interments.  If the first interment in burial lot is a cremation interment, no casket interment may be made in the lot.

9. No lot owner may sell, transfer, or convey ownership title to any person, but may under the Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 114 – Section 31, pass a burial lot to any family member. The town has the option of buying back a plot at the original purchase price.  

II. Interments and Disinterments

1. All burials shall be under the personal supervision of the Cemeteries Commission, or designate.

2. All interments and disinterments are made subject to the orders and laws of the properly constituted authorities of the Town, county and state.

3. Any outstanding obligations due the Town, such as special service charges, must be paid before a grave way is opened.

4. No interments will be made until the Commission or their designate has been furnished with a permit as required by law.

5. No interment shall be made until all fees provided for in the then current rate schedule adopted by the Commission shall have been paid.

6. All non-cremated burials shall be made in a concrete box, together with a one or two- piece cover of sufficient strength to permanently support the weight above it.

7. All non-cremated burials shall be at a depth of approximately six feet, unless otherwise approved by the Commission or their designate.

8. All cremation burials shall be under supervision of the Commission or its designate, and contained in a suitable container.  Burial will be at a depth of approximately eighteen inches.  The location of each burial and/or cremation will be recorded on a separate record card to be filed with the Town Clerk.

9. The Commission shall make available single burial sites in the cemetery, which shall be used as burial sites for a resident pauper or body that is found unclaimed in the Town.  These sites shall be free of charge and the Commissioners shall place upon said grave, a suitable marker, with the name, age, date of birth, date of death upon the same.  The cost of which is to be paid for from a fund or appropriation made by the Town.

10. Neither the Cemetery Commission nor it’s designate, shall not be held responsible for any order given, or mistakes that occur due to the lack of precise, proper facts or instructions as to a particular space, size in a lot where an interment is desired.  The Commission, it’s designate, reserves the right to correct any such error that may occur in making an interment or disinterment.  The Commission shall not be held liable for the failure of any device or equipment to operate in normal manner.  This shall include any conditions beyond its immediate control

III. Monuments, Markers and etc.

1. Each one burial lot may contain only one monument, either upright or flat and flush markers for cremations. Veterans’ markers are exempt.

2. No monument or marker of any type shall be constructed of any material other than granite or natural stone, without written permission of a Commissioner.  A monument or marker shall be not larger than following dimensions (3 ft. high x4 ft. length x 2 ft. wide at the base).

3.All upright type monuments must be constructed on a cement foundation of approximate depth of eighteen inches and a width and length at least 2 inches longer and wider than the monument supports.

4. Violations of erection specifications and required prior approval by the Commission or their designate may result in its removal at lot owner’s expense.

5. No monument inscriptions deemed in the opinion of the Commission as profane, indecent, objectionable or unfitting to public acceptance will be allowed.

6. Neither the Cemeteries Commission nor the Town of Tolland, shall at anytime be held responsible for damages to any monument or marker of any type which is the result of vandalism by unknown person or persons; nor for any damages caused by natural heaving of the ground, a natural disaster such as those encountered during severe wind, snow or electrical storms; nor damages caused by mowing or plowing operations.  

7. Metal American flag holders may be placed on graves of any war veteran, or on the grave of a deceased Tolland Police or Fire Department member.  These holders must be placed closely to monument bases so as not to interfere with mowing operations.

8. Floral frames or baskets, etc. will be kept one week from the day of interment.  If baskets or flowers are desired by the family, they should be retrieved by the family in that period of time.

9. No in-ground planting of any kind shall be permitted.  No urns, flower boxes, fences, curbing, hedges, trees, shrubs or any other similar type of planting shall be placed around or planted upon any grave or lot in a Town cemetery.  The only exception will be flowers not to exceed 15” in height and they must be within 12” of the gravestone.  Also, the Town of Tolland will not be responsible for any flowers damaged during normal maintenance or mowing.

10.No vigil light, crushed stone, or bark shall be placed around a monument or marker.  Glass containers, vases, metal urns or holders may not be used as they pose a probable hazard or injury to other persons or equipment.  Any statue must be a permanent part of the monument foundation and have prior approval of the Cemetery Commission.

11. The Cemetery Commissioners or their designate have the right to remove any flowers, containers or boxes at anytime.

IV. Variance and Hearings

The Tolland Cemetery Commission reserves the right to issue variances after a hearing on all rules and all regulations, as long as they are consistent with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 114, and any section of which is applicable to the topic matter.

The Commission suggests interested parties and lot owners contact them prior to all matters concerning burials, monuments, and the purchase or sale of lots, to receive updated information, specifications and current costs.

Enforcement: The established rules and regulations of the Tolland Cemeteries Commission may be enforced by a member of the Commission, State Police and Tolland Police Department or any other person authorized to enforce civil and/or criminal laws.

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