Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces Funding for the Thomas-Cullen Cemetery

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 21, 2005  
Contact Information:  Samantha Cook
Public Information Officer

            Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor's Office for Local Development (GOLD) announced today that the Thomas Bridges Association will receive $1,312.50 in Cemetery Preservation funds for the restoration of the Thomas-Cullen Cemetery, located in the Donaldson Creek community of Trigg County.

            Grant funds will cover the cost of a survey, fencing, and the cleaning and repairing of monuments.  The family cemetery dates back to the 1800s.

            "One cannot underestimate the importance of cemeteries in preserving our great state's past," said Governor Fletcher.  "Cemeteries often hold the maps to discovering our history through those who have gone before us. It's exciting that so many communities across Kentucky are working to preserve our past in an effort to enlighten our future."

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

            Senator Ken Winters said, "I am pleased that the administration chose to fund this project.  It is important for our children that the heritage of the community be maintained."

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.

"Cemetery preservation is a vital avenue for genealogical research," said Representative James Carr.  "This funding will help to maintain that element in researching family history."

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.