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Rural Missouri cemeteries face financial challenges

MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ A Missouri lawmaker is working on a bill that would allow rural cemetery boards, provided they abide by some regulations, to dip into principal if investment returns prove insufficient

The Maryville Forum reports that Rep. Allen Andrews led a successful effort last year to pass legislation allowing cemetery trustees, under certain restrictions, to invest in higher-yield bonds, stocks and mutual funds.

Joyce Hennegin is secretary-treasurer of the Long Branch Cemetery near the former town of Gaynor in northeast Nodaway County. She says Andrews’ law helped, but not enough.

Hennegin says the Long Branch board was able to increase its annual return-on-investment from $250 a year to around $700. But she says mowing the cemetery costs $2,000.

Andrews says he’s encountered some reluctance about allowing cemetery trustees to spend principal.