WARSAW — The final draft of an agreement between Oakwood Cemetery and Nancy Williams was approved at the Oakwood Cemetery Board of Regents meeting held Thursday, Feb. 7.
Sexton Hal Heagy was approached by Williams about putting up a columbarium on her family lot at Oakwood. Since the columbarium would be made of fieldstone, which is generally not permitted at Oakwood, an agreement was drawn up which would absolve the cemetery of any responsibility for damage or deterioration to the columbarium.
Heagy informed board members that a decision was made that St. Peter’s Lutheran Church will not be allowed to hold Sunday church services at the cemetery chapel.
Last month Chad England attended the meeting as a representative of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and requested permission to rent the cemetery chapel for their church services on a temporary basis.
After board members approved this request, Heagy stated the next step would be to consult with the mayor and an attorney to check into the legalities.
“I talked to the mayor. The mayor and I and the city attorney sat down and it’s nothing against these guys, but we chose not to do it,” said Heagy. “The reason is all the liability to open it up.”
“If we open it up to them, we have to open it up to other things so now we’d become like the park, the pavilion and the fireman’s building and we really don’t want to go down that avenue,” Heagy explained. “We just don’t think for insurance purposes and stuff that we should do that.
“I just want to go on record, I feel like too many times we bow to these fears, that are legitimate fears, but it just seems like we don’t want to do too much of that,” said Board Member Dave Baumgartner. “I also know that, as a municipality, if we get hit with some sort of big lawsuit, even to defend yourself is expensive.”
“To help these people out was no problem for a little bit, but what happens is when you do one you can’t tell other people no,” said Heagy. “We’re in the business of a cemetery, not of a park.”
- Frozen pipes resulted in a water leak at Oakwood Cemetery Chapel.
- Opening of a new burial section will take place in 2020.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 7.