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Delaware Cemetery Board


Frequently Asked Questions


  »  Why does a cemetery have to register with the Delaware Cemetery Board, Division of Public Health?

  »  How do I register a cemetery with the Delaware Cemetery Board?

  »  Are all cemeteries required to register?

  »  How frequently does a cemetery renew its registration?

  »  What is a distressed cemetery?

  »  What DE code applies to a distressed cemetery?

  »  What is the Distressed Cemetery Fund?

  »  Who is eligible to apply for distressed cemetery funds?

  »  How do I apply for distressed cemetery funds?

  »  Who do I contact for help?

  »  Who do I contact for theft or vandalism of a cemetery?

  »  Who do I contact for complaints about a cemetery?

  »  How do I start a new cemetery in Delaware?

  »  How do I nominate a cemetery for the National Register of Historic Places?

 

 

 


Why does a cemetery have to register with the Delaware Cemetery Board, Division of Public Health?

It is required by law (Title 29, Chapter 79A, Section 7906A, Delaware Code).  "All cemetery companies and cemetery owners in this State shall register every 5 years or upon change in ownership with the Cemetery Board and pay the registration fee determined by Department of Health and Social Services in an amount that approximates and reasonably reflects the costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board.  A volunteer may register an abandoned cemetery."


How do I register a cemetery with the Delaware Cemetery Board?

Registration forms are available on the Delaware Health Statistics Center website or emailed/mailed upon request.  The registration fee is $10 and the check or money order is made payable to the State of Delaware.

Mail the completed form with payment to:

Candace Casto
Delaware Cemetery Board
Delaware Health Statistics Center
Jesse Cooper Bldg
417 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901

 

Are all cemeteries required to register?

All cemeteries, such as family, inactive, abandoned, small, and church cemeteries  ̶  as well as cemeteries located on government land  ̶  are required to register.  The registration fee is waived for cemeteries located on government land and may be waived for inactive or abandoned cemeteries.


How frequently does a cemetery renew its registration?

Cemeteries must renew every five years or upon a change in ownership.

 

What is a distressed cemetery?

Per 29 Del. C., § 7902A (6),  "Distressed cemetery" is defined as any land or structure used or intended to be used for the interment/entombment of human remains, including facilities used for the final disposition of cremated remains, whereby the owner lacks sufficient financial resources for the maintenance or preservation of said cemetery as determined by the Board. An abandoned cemetery may qualify as a distressed cemetery if registered with the State by a responsible party/volunteer.
 


What DE code applies to a distressed cemetery?

Delaware Code Title 29 Chapter 79A
 


What is the Distressed Cemetery Fund?

Each year, the Delaware Legislature appropriates a certain amount in the Budget Act to help with distressed cemeteries. Cemeteries must be registered before applying for funds. The fund assists distressed cemeteries in making needed repairs and improvements or for purchasing equipment or structures to maintain/preserve it. Funds are not used for annual lawn maintenance expenses. Examples of past awards include, but are not limited to:

  • Repair/reset tombstones/mausoleums/structure for burials
  • Repair/replace fences/gates, railings, sidewalks
  • Tree service (removal or trimming)
  • Purchase of cemetery maintenance equipment and shed to store cemetery equipment
  • Clear out overgrown brush/trees in cemetery (not for general lawn maintenance)


Who is eligible to apply for distressed cemetery funds?

  1. A cemetery must be registered with the State of Delaware, Division of Public Health, Delaware Cemetery Board. If they are not already registered with the State Board, complete and submit the attached registration form.
  2. The work must be proposed projects and not for a reimbursement of past expenditures.
  3. The cemetery must meet the definition of a distressed cemetery.
  4. The applicant must prove there is a financial need.


How do I apply for distressed cemetery funds?

An application package (completed and signed application, three vendor quotes, photos of work or equipment needed, recent financial information - income/expense report, bank statements of all accounts, and documented volunteer hours for past three years by project, if applicable) must be sent two weeks before a scheduled meeting to the administrative officer at the following address.  The applicant or a cemetery representative must attend the meeting to discuss the application with the Board.


Candace Casto
Delaware Cemetery Board
417 Federal Street
Dover, DE 19901
Candace.Casto@delaware.gov
 


Who do I contact for help?

For inquiries contact Candace Casto at 302-744-4541 or Candace.Casto@delaware.gov.


Who do I contact for theft or vandalism of a cemetery?

  • Call the local police where the cemetery is located.


Who do I contact for complaints about a cemetery?

  • If the cemetery is for profit, 9 Del. C., c. 10, empowers each county to enforce maintenance regulations and penalties for failure to follow such regulations. If the cemetery is a nonprofit, call the city/town or county where the cemetery is located for the code violations (e.g., overgrown and grass not mowed).  

    • New Castle County Code Enforcement: 302-395-5555
    • Kent County Inspections and Enforcement: 302-744-2451
    • Sussex County Code Enforcement: 302-855-7819
  • Delaware Department of Justice, Consumer Protection Unit

    • New Castle County: 302-577-8600
    • Kent County: 302-739-7641
    • Sussex County: 302-856-5353
    • Toll-free Hotline: 800-220-5424
  • Better Business Bureau

    • 302-221-5255

  • International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association Cemetery (ICCFA) Consumer Service Council- Complaint Resolution Services

    • 703-391-8400
    • Toll-free 800-645-7700


How do I start a new cemetery in Delaware?

To start a new cemetery in Delaware, it is suggested to visit the Delaware Division of Revenue’s website, Business Licenses Frequently Asked Questions, at https://revenue.delaware.gov/frequently-asked-questions/business-licenses-faqs/.


How do I nominate a cemetery for the National Register of Historic Places?

Please call the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Historic Preservation Office, at 302-736-7400 for guidance on this or visit their website at https://history.delaware.gov/preservation/index.shtml.

 

Link to Delaware Health Statistics Center main page



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