WARSAW — Members of the Oakwood Cemetery Board of Regents discussed a request regarding a family mausoleum at the meeting held Thursday, Dec. 6.
Nancy Williams, who is originally from the Warsaw area but currently resides out of state, approached Heagy about putting up a columbarium on her family lot.
“The problem we get into, number one and the big one, is it’s fieldstone,” Heagy said. “That is in the rules and not allowed.”
The reason for that rule, Heagy explained, is that fieldstone tends to deteriorate over time.
“The ones that are currently in there they, some of them deteriorate. If you understand, moisture gets into the grout and they expand and crack and break,” said Heagy. “The families who have them now come to me and want me to fix them. It’s not a cemetery issue, it’s a stone issue.”
Heagy asked for input from board members.
Oakwood Board of Regents President Arthur Brown asked if there was a way to stipulate that any future problems with the columbarium would have to be handled by the Williams family.
“I would suggest or request that, if we do this, I would go to the city attorney and he would figure up the right verbiage for me to say that we would not be responsible for this at any time whatsoever if fieldstone is the case,” said Heagy. “This would be an isolated case because we do not allow this for headstones.”
“Then you’re going to have to think about the persons who wanted to use it prior and we told them no they couldn’t now they’re going to come back and say ‘why does she,’” said Oakwood Board Secretary Ellen Hoffer.
“The ones prior were on a memorial stone, not a columbarium. It’s not like a stone that you’re cutting or putting out,” Heagy explained. “This would be a single building that they would be responsible for.”
“My concern is the fact that they live out of town,” said Oakwood Board Vice-President Max Mock. “If the stone starts to deteriorate they aren’t going to be here to see it.”
“I’m concerned about how it will deteriorate over the years and who will take care of it,” said Hoffer.
“This isn’t something that’s going to break down in five or ten years if it’s done correctly,” Heagy said. “After that, it’s a chance. It’s up to the mortar and the weather.”
Heagy clarified that if the request were approved, the concrete and work would be done by an outside vendor who will be licensed and insured. Board members discussed having the family put money into a perpetual care fund as one of the conditions.
“I don’t have a problem with the stone, provided we get a set amount put aside for repairs down the road,” said Mock.
A decision was eventually made to table this until the next meeting in order to give Heagy a chance to speak with an attorney.
Due to water damage that occurred in the Oakwood Cemetery office after a water heater valve broke shortly before Memorial Day, the cemetery office is in the process of being renovated. The office area has been painted, electrical work has been completed and flooring has been installed.
“Hopefully by the 20th we are done with that, with the restoration,” said Heagy, who told board members he would like to replace the windows of the office in 2019. The current windows do not open.
- The 2018 cost for road paving was $24,245. For 2019, $35,000 is budgeted to complete paving.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan 3.