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Hagerman Cemetery District: Trying To Clear The Air

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By Brittany Cooper

Hagerman, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Some members of the Hagerman community questioned the leadership of the cemetery district over a financial matter. Holes in the budget, numbers not adding up, personnel leaving, all started to raise some eyebrows around town.

The board told me there's no finger pointing when not enough factual information is present.

"We left it up to our secretary which had been there for 19 years thereabouts and it was partly our fault, we should have been more attuned with what was going on," says Mac Billiard, Board Chair, Hagerman Cemetery District.

For the last two years, the Hagerman Cemetery District has been short of money. A failed override election two years ago left the secretary scrambling to work with what she could. But when the district ran out of money in July, about the same time the secretary moved away, eyebrows started to raise.

As Diana Goolsby, Board Member, Hagerman Cemetery District explains, "our budget was not handled properly by our secretary leaving, we found that certain numbers didn't correlate. But I don't believe that it had anything to do with saying that there was misappropriation of the funds and she had anything to do with it."

Billiard adds, "this year with our income down for the cemetery, lack of burials and lot sales, we ran out of money, that's just the bottomline."

Officials put this sign up in August, indicative of the financial situation facing the district.

Goolsby adds, "basically we're all one group and we all take fault in what has happened as far as not enough funds in our budget to take care of the needs of the cemetery. But that has been coming along for years now."

A cemetery district looking to move on from this matter and better serve the community's needs.

The board feels confident with the help of two substantial donations, that they'll be able to get by through January.


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