Frankfort, KY (Sept. 12, 2003) –
Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Jody Lassiter
requests grant applications from groups who want to preserve the
Commissioner Lassiter said that a 2001 report
produced by a task force created by the state Attorney General
determined the need for cemetery preservation in
“According to the results of a task force
survey, there are more than 13,000 identified cemeteries in
Kentucky. And a
tremendous amount of these cemeteries have been abandoned, meaning
they have been neglected for many years.”
The new Kentucky Cemetery Preservation Fund program has
approximately $1 million in this first funding cycle for
maintenance, preservation and restoration activities.
Examples of maintenance activities include
initial cleanup and landscaping, purchasing equipment, fencing,
signage and improving interior roads. Preservation and restoration
activities include acquiring conservation easements, surveying
boundaries and repairing and cleaning tombstones.
Other activities that are eligible for
funding are historic research, archiving, training to support
cemetery preservation and improving access roads.
“We expect to see great interest in these dollars.
Kentucky is known for
its genealogical resources and cemetery preservation is a piece of
the puzzle when putting together family histories,” said Lassiter.
“It’s important to memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who
have gone before us by preserving and maintaining the state’s
cemeteries and individual grave sites.”
Counties may establish five-member county
cemetery boards to apply for grants. Initially, state agencies,
local governments, and certain nonprofit organizations – cemeteries,
historical and genealogical groups, and local civic groups – also
may apply. However, applications from county boards will receive
The maximum grant that a group can receive is
$25,000 and the minimum grant is $2,500.
A five-member state board will oversee the
program and make funding decisions. The state board is chaired by
the Commissioner of DLG and also represents the Kentucky Heritage
Council, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Association
of Counties and the Kentucky African-American Heritage
Applications and instructions are available
on the DLG web site at www.dlg.ky.gov. Click on “Downloadable Grant Information”
for the grant application and other information.
For additional information on establishing
county cemetery boards, phone Lee Creech at (502) 573-2382. The
deadline for applying for this round of funds is Oct. 15.