Governor's Office for Local Development
Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development Announce Funding for Saint Boniface Church
Governor Ernie Fletcher and the Governor’s Office for Local Development (GOLD) announced today that the St. Boniface Catholic Church will receive $10,000 in Cemetery Preservation funds for the St. Boniface Catholic Church Cemetery in Whitley County.
Grant funds will cover the cost of a survey to establish the cemetery’s boundaries. Grant funds may also be used to erect fencing around the property, to abate soil erosion and water flow problems.
Governor Ernie Fletcher said, “Cemeteries often hold the maps to discovering our history through those who have gone before us. To preserve cemeteries is to preserve a snapshot of our great commonwealth’s past. It’s exciting that so many communities, like Whitley County, across Kentucky are working to maintain our past in an effort to enlighten our future.”
St. Boniface Catholic Church Cemetery was founded in 1887.
“I appreciate the funding that St Boniface Church is receiving and I know the families very much appreciate having the peace of mind that their loved ones' resting place will be cared for and preserved,” said Senator David Williams.
The Kentucky Cemetery Preservation program funds maintenance, preservation and restoration activities. 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.
Representative Charlie Siler noted, “The stone record of this cemetery provides a glimpse into the stories of the many ethnic groups that came to Appalachia to work the mines. This cemetery is a representation of their story and a page within the history of Whitley County.”
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 chaired by the Commissioner of GOLD and also represents the Kentucky Heritage Council, the Kentucky Historical Society, the Kentucky Association of Counties and the Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission.