Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development Announce Funding for Christ Church Cathedral

Press Release Date:  Thursday, November 10, 2005  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer

            Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) today announced that the Christ Church Cathedral of Lexington will receive a $7,010 Cemetery Preservation grant for restoration of tombstones in the Old Episcopal Burying Ground at 317 East Third Street in Lexington.

            Governor Ernie Fletcher said Christ Church Cathedral has worked hard to maintain the cemetery, especially the cottage and grounds. “The church has spent considerable funds in the past to maintain the cemetery so we know their commitment to preserving it is strong. This grant will help the church parishioners complete the tombstone restoration project and bring the cemetery up to modern standards.”

            The Old Episcopal Burying Ground is Lexington’s oldest surviving cemetery, dating back to 1832. Eleven Revolutionary War Veterans are buried there.

            “As we are nearing Veterans Day, we are reminded of those individuals who fought for our freedom as far back as the Revolutionary War,” said Senator Ernesto Scorsone.  “By protecting this cemetery and working to preserve it, we are paying a tribute to those veterans who are buried on this sacred ground.”

             The Kentucky Cemetery Preservation program funds maintenance, preservation and restoration activities.

            Representative Kathy Stein said, “Cemetery preservation is important to genealogical research and historical records.  I am pleased that this funding was awarded to the Old Episcopal Burying Ground to maintain and preserve the history captured by the cemetery.”

Senator Ernesto Scorsone presented the check on behalf of Governor Fletcher to local officials.

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.

Counties may establish five-member county cemetery boards to apply for grants. 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 funding priority.

The maximum grant that a group can receive is $25,000 and the minimum grant is $1,000, and a one-to-one local match is required.

A five-member state board oversees the program and makes funding decisions. The state board is comprised of representatives from the Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC), the Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) and the Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission and chaired by the Commissioner of GOLD.