Alan Bruns, who served as city sexton from 1988 to 2014, has been reappointed sexton, which begins his 27th year in the post.
Mayor Steve Myers made the appointment, which aldermen approved, at the July 17 board meeting. The mayor then administered the oath of office to Bruns.
Bruns formerly served as sexton for 26 years after being appointed by five mayors. When Mayor Jeff Palmore was elected in 2014, he declined to appoint Bruns to the post.
The reinstated sexton has been involved with city cemeteries since childhood when he accompanied his grandfather to the cemeteries to mark off graves or help locate a grave.
Three other Bruns family members have held the post of sexton: Robert Bruns, unknown date -1916; August Bruns Sr., 1916-1974; and Raymond Bruns, 1974-1988.
Although previous sextons often acted with a handshake agreement, the new appointment of Alan Bruns includes a contract outlining the duties of the sexton.
The agreement places the general operation of the city’s two cemeteries — City Cemetery and Resurrection Hill Cemetery — under the superintendence of the sexton.
The sexton will serve as the city agent in the sale of gravesites, locate and mark gravesites, perform grave opening and closing and mark gravesites for the placement of monuments and headstones.
The sexton also will work with the city to update cemetery maps and consult with the city on revised ordinances, rules and regulations governing cemetery activities.
He will have general superintending control of the routine maintenance activities in the city cemeteries, including grass mowing and trimming, maintenance of trees and landscaping the gazebos, benches, cemetery fences and signs.
Where it’s feasible, he will be in charge of repair and resetting of fallen or disturbed monuments and headstones.
Although he is an independent contractor and not a city employee, he will work under the supervision of the city administrator and will coordinate with the public works commission.
The term of the contract coexists with the term of the mayor.
The sexton will be paid $1,200 each year, in monthly installments of $100. He also will be paid $575 for each grave opening and closing.
In other issues involved with the independent contractor status, the sexton will be required to carry liability, automobile liability and workers’ compensation insurance, hold the city harmless of any costs resulting from personal injury or damage caused by his negligence or other wrongdoing, obtain a city business license and refrain from hiring illegal aliens.
Bruns also operates Bruns Vault & Monument, 206 S. Fourth St.