By Sarah Bixler, RCAC Rural Development Specialist II

papers stacked on a desk
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Where: Magalia, California

Problem: The Kimshew Cemetery District experienced major damage due to the 2018 Camp Fire and needed assistance completing and submitting its application to U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) Community Facilities Program in order to make the necessary repairs.

Solution: RCAC worked with the district to gather the items needed for its application. The grant was approved, and the district received $76,200 to repair the fire damage.

Formed in 1952, the Kimshew Cemetery District is located east of Highway 32 and contains the unincorporated communities of Butte Meadows, DeSabla, Inskip, Jonesville, Lovelock, Magalia, Paradise Pines and Stirling City. The Kimshew Cemetery District owns and operates Magalia Cemetery, Stirling City Cemetery, Nimshew Cemetery and Coutolenc Cemetery.

In November 2018, the Camp Fire caused more than $100,000 damage to the Magalia Cemetery, which included damage to part of the irrigation system, the controls, and the well house, pump, and power supply. These issues needed to be addressed as they were hazardous, compromised the safety of those using the cemetery and made regular cemetery maintenance difficult. In addition, there were several other upgrades needed at the facilities, which included replacing old equipment, painting, and repairing the shop building’s exterior.

The district reached out to U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) for disaster relief funds through the Community Facilities Program. The district was preapproved for the grant, and by May 2020 the district applied for the funds. However, the district had several missing pieces of information and documents submitted that were not compliant with USDA RD’s application format. This included missing financial statements and forms, and repair quotes and bids. Until the district could provide the necessary documentation, its application was stalemated.
Early 2021, USDA RD asked RCAC to help the district complete its application. RCAC assisted the district to prepare and translate its financial documents into USDA’s required templates and worked with the USDA specialist to gather the information required.

After working with the district, its application package was finalized and submitted. In June 2021, Kimshew Cemetery District was awarded $76,200 for disaster recovery. Thanks to RCAC’s collaboration with USDA RD, the district received the extra help and push it needed to complete the application and restore its facility.