Parks and Recreation BoardJuly 25, 2022

7-2: Perpetual Care Fund FAQ — original pdf

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PERPETUAL CARE FUND - FAQ The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) assumed management of the City's five historic cemeteries on November 1, 1986. Until March 2013, PARD used a contractor, InterCare Corporation, exclusively for cemetery sales, operations, maintenance and management. In assuming direct management of the five City cemeteries, PARD staff uncovered a number of operational and administrative challenges that not only required thorough research, but also required the development and implementation of new processes and procedures in accordance with established State and City laws and industry best practices. Systematically, PARD addressed a number of issues and recently uncovered an additional challenge related to the Perpetual Care Fund (PCF). Unfortunately, other immediate challenges associated with direct cemetery management prevented PARD from addressing this issue until this time. What is the purpose of the Perpetual Care Fund The Perpetual Care Trust Fund ("PCTF" or "Fund") was created by City Council in 1983 pursuant to the statutory predecessor of Texas Health and Safety Code Chap. 713, Subchap. A. The PCTF is currently codified in City Code Chap. 10-1, Art. 2. See Attachment 1. The purpose of the Fund is to assure the perpetual maintenance of the cemetery lots and graves in the city cemeteries; invest and reinvest money in trust accounts in the Trust Fund; and apply the income earned by the Trust Fund that is in excess of the amount necessary to maintain the individual cemetery lots or graves to the beautification of the city cemeteries generally. When was the last contribution made to the PCF The Cemetery Perpetual Care Interest Fund was utilized for expenditures to operate and maintain the City of Austin’s cemetery until FY 2013-14, when all costs associated with cemetery operations were moved to the General Fund. The remaining balance of the fund was transferred to a separate account in FY 2013-14. The Cemetery Perpetual Care Principal Fund has a current balance of approximately $1 million. Annual interest earnings on this principal are approximately $10,000 and the interest is recorded as revenue that goes back into the General Fund. The balance must remain in the fund due to legal requirements (City Code: Article 2. Section 10‐1‐11). What is the current balance of the PCF Councilman Bechtol moved to increase cemetery lot charges and set up a special fund for perpetual care to receive 25% of each lot sale.  Minutes of the City Council dated August 27, 1959 PCF Historical Timeline August 27, 1959 Page 1 of 2 February 10, 1982 COA Ordinance No. 820210-B Establish a Cemetery Endowment Fund transferring all monies from the Perpetual Care Fund. June 16, 1983 July 29, 1983 November 6, 1986 March 24, 1987 COA Ordinance No. 830616-C Establish a new Perpetual Care Trust Fund. COA Memo – Re: Ordinance, Application, and Certificate of Acceptance – City Perpetual Care Trust Fund Attachments:  Draft copy of City Ordinance No. 830616-C  City Clerk Form Instructions (Draft) – COA Application for Acceptance of City Perpetual Care Trust Fund Trust  City Clerk Form (Draft) - COA Certificate of Acceptance of City Perpetual Care Trust Fund Trust COA Ordinance No. 861106-I Transfer responsibility of cemeteries maintenance from Public Works to PARD. Cemetery Operation Trust and Agency Account File Document – Discussion: Brief history, transfer from Public Works, recommendation. Author unknown. September 21, 1989 COA Memo Re: Cemeteries RFP Additional Information (Intent to contract services) October 31, 1989 August 16, 1990 COA Ordinance No. 900816-B Merge Cemetery Endowment Fund into Perpetual Care Fund Memo Research History September 7, 1990 Memo – Re: Cemetery Trusts September 19, 1990 COA Memo – Re: Merging of Cemetery Endowment and Perpetual Care Fund From: Financial Services Dept. (FSD) Director B. Dunkerley To: PARD Director M. Mollinedo & City Clerk J. Aldridge Establish FSD, PARD, and City Clerk responsibilities. Attachments:  City Ordinance No. 861106-I  City Ordinance No. 830616-C (amended by 861106-I) September 6, 1991 May 5, 1992 July 23, 1998 July 9, 2015 COA Memo – FSD Controller to ACM Re: Cemetery Fund (Endowment Fund and Perpetual Care Fund discussion) COA Memo – FSD Director to Mayor and Council Re: Cemetery Fund (copy of September 6, 1991 memo to ACM). COA Memo – Law Dept. response to FSD Controller Discussion: Use of Perpetual Care Trust Fund monies. COA Memo – Law Dept. response to FSD Controller Discussion: Are the City’s cemeteries Perpetual Care Cemeteries? Page 2 of 2