The Cemetery Commission is composed of five members, appointed by the Mayor, subject to approval by the City Council. Members must own real estate in the City in order to be appointed. They serve for a term of two years and may serve a maximum of three two-year terms. The Commission meets quarterly, and special meetings are called from time to time.
The Commission's major responsibility is governing the use and operation of the cemetery. The City Manager and the Public Works Department handle the general administrative work of the Commission. The City Manager, an ex-officio member, acts as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Commission.
As one of the enterprise services of the municipality, the cemetery is among activities under the Director of Public Works. The Sexton is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the cemetery. His office is located in the Cemetery Gatehouse, located at 520 East Spruce.
The Cemetery is totally self-supporting from monies derived from the sale of licenses for grave, lot, and niche sites, gifts, and interest received on investments. The Cemetery is supported by income from the following funds: the Twenty Percent Fund (twenty percent of all lot sales); the Custodial Maintenance Fund; individual Trust Funds; and the General Fund.
Although it has never been done to date, the City Council upon request of the Cemetery Commission has the authority to approve and levy a property tax for the operation of the Cemetery. Those who select Lake Forest Cemetery to provide for their needs can be assured that the site will be permanently maintained in a suitable manner through the Cemetery's program of custodial maintenance.
Those with gravesites, structures, sculptures, plantings, and/or memorials that require special maintenance must provide funds for an endowment for their care, because such maintenance activities require greater attention than average. The amount required for an endowment is figured on an individual basis.
The Cemetery gratefully accepts contributions of any amount from any individual or group. Donations may also be in the form of investments (stocks and bonds). All donations are tax deductible.
Graves and/or lot sites may be returned to the Cemetery for the original purchase price or they may be donated at the current rate to the Cemetery for a tax deduction. Only licensees or specified heirs may convey the property. Heirs must submit proof of their positions as heirs in order to convey the rights to the gravesite to the Cemetery.
Throughout the years, the generosity of Lake Forest residents has increased the beauty of the Cemetery. A number of trees have been planted at the Lake Forest Cemetery through the Tree Donor Program. Donors have the opportunity to select from the list of landscape materials that have been selected for specific locations on the site. The cost of a tree donation varies based on the species and size of the tree.
Similarly, additional landscape furnishings are on the "wish list" for the Memorial Gardens. Prices vary by the type of furnishing. They include but are not limited to planters and a focal point, the gothic style spire in The Memorial Gardens.
The Commission has also created the Memorial Landscape Fund as a means to restore and provide special care for the site. Any amount is accepted for this fund, making it a particularly appropriate way to show respect for the loved one or friend and sympathy for the bereaved.
Upon request, a family and/or friends may set up a memorial fund in memory of the deceased. It is the responsibility of the family to select the specific item that will be named in the individual's memory from a list proposed by the Commission.
All donations are tax deductible and the family is notified (without reference to the size of the donation) by the Cemetery. For information about donations, contact the Director of Finance (847-810-3612).