The city of Mandan has an ordinance on the table that would limit the types of memorials allowed on cemetery burial sites, and when they are allowed.

The draft ordinance bans statues, birdhouses, vigil lights, glass objects, benches, large animals, flag poles and hanging plants at Mandan Union Cemetery. Temporary flower memorials will be allowed to remain for two weeks after certain holidays. Certain larger plantings will be grandfathered in.

Many cemetery managers -- such as Tom Weigel of Weigel Funeral Home and David Wise of DaWise Funeral -- are in favor of the ordinance, saying that less cluttered, easier-to-maintain grounds are essential for keeping the resting places pleasant and dignified.

The potential new regs have met with some opposition, however.

Mandan resident Susan Beehler feels that the families of the deceased should be able to memorialize their loved ones in any way they see fit, proposing instead a fee system, in which families could pay for the extra time and maintenance special memorials require -- or they could agree to maintain the plots themselves.

For his part, city commissioner Dennis Rohr feels the proposed changes "seem reasonable."

If passed, the new ordinance will take effect on July 1 of this year.

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