How area counties handle indigent burials

May 28, 2004

Boyle County

Boyle County has traditionally budgeted money for funerals, but there is no ordinance that requires it. It averages about six or seven a year. Relatives must sign a form that the deceased doesn't have money to pay funeral costs. Judge-Executive Tony Wilder reviews the forms before the checks are cut. The county pays up to $300. Danville donates graves in Bellevue Cemetery for city residents. Stith Funeral Home owns some graves in Junction City for those who can't afford one. In the 2003-04 fiscal year the county budgeted $1,800 and has spent it all as of the end of April, and there are a couple more forms on Wilder's desk now that have yet to be approved. In 2004-05 the county upped that budget to $2,100.

Garrard County

Garrard County provides $250 for burial costs for the indigent, Judge-Executive E.J. Hasty said. The county has a paupers' cemetery for such burials, but Hasty said it is not used very often, especially since Jim Cook started Pentecostal Fellowship Church. Cook, the church's pastor, allows those that cannot afford burial to be buried in the churchyard, Hasty said.


Lincoln County

Lincoln County Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert said his county has used a strict interpretation of Kentucky state law since the early 1990s to limit county spending on indigent burials. Gilbert said that Lincoln County Attorney Jim Williams determined that only unclaimed corpses would qualify as paupers eligible for county aid. Although that has not happened for a long time, Gilbert said the county would take care of a true pauper.

Casey County

In Casey County, there is no set amount provided for indigent burials, Judge-Executive Ronald Wright said. The county would furnish an adequate amount for those in need, and the funeral homes would absorb the rest, Wright said. That money would come from the county's general fund, he said.

Mercer County

Mercer County set aside $1,000 for such expenses this fiscal year, Judge-Executive John Trisler said. He said the city of Harrodsburg donates the burial plot and the county supplies the money for burial expenses, which typically run about $600. Trisler said those which the county coroner certifies as indigent and needy are eligible for the funds.

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