WARSAW — A new “three strike” rule is being implemented regarding lots put on hold at Oakwood Cemetery in Warsaw.
Oakwood Sexton Hal Heagy told members at the Oakwood Board of Regents meeting held Thursday, April 4, that there are ongoing issues with people placing lots on hold and then never returning to purchase them.
“Currently, how we do things — and you gotta understand we do things where we have to deal with emotions and whatnot — if a loved one passes away, we understand there’s an expense and everything and a lot of times they can buy their own lot for the loved one and their money may be tied up, they may not have money right away, so we allow them to put a lot or lots on hold for 60 days,” said Heagy. “The problem is they don’t come back.”
Heagy said the bigger issue is when someone buys one lot and puts multiple lots on hold.
“What we’re seeing now is that a lot is being bought and then they’re putting eight lots on hold,” Heagy explained. “I have some from ’04. I have seven lots from 2015.”
Heagy expressed concern about the lots being held up and not available for use. He told board members that the last road he cut in order to allow room for approximately 1,250 lots cost roughly $75,000.
Heagy suggested to board members that they limit the number of lots allowed to be placed on hold to one and that on day 61, that lot will go back to “for sale” status if payment has not been made.
“I’m not trying to be mean,” Heagy stressed, adding that a little leniency could be granted if people would just return calls regarding the on-hold lots.
Oakwood Board Vice-President Max Mock inquired as to whether 60 days is ample time.
“What if we did something other than just taking it off hold after that 60 days,” suggested Board President Arthur Brown, “say, try to contact them after the 60 days and let them know that hey, this is ending and give them some kind of warning that hey, if you don’t purchase it soon we’re gonna have to put it back on sale.”
“I mean, you could do like a three strike rule,” Brown continued, “you could call them three times and if they don’t answer or whatever …”
Heagy said he was open to suggestions but reiterated his belief that only one lot should be allowed to be put on hold, rather than multiple lots.
Board members approved new policy guidelines regarding placing lots on hold at Oakwood, such as when a purchaser pays for one or more lots, they may place one additional lot on hold for 60 days; an agreement sheet will be completed with the location of the lot, and the end date will be stated on the agreement; if no payment has been made by day 61, three attempts at contact will be made prior to the lot being put back up for sale.
Heagy is requesting that anyone who currently has a lot on hold at Oakwood and has had the lot(s) on hold for more than 60 days, please contact Oakwood Cemetery at (574) 372-9553 or [email protected] to make arrangements.
- The first payment has been made to Bradford’s Outdoor Creations for the second phase of the retaining wall near cemetery section 57. Payment of $16,995.56 was made, which is 50 percent of the project cost.
- A new groundskeeper has been hired and expected to start soon, as one of the cemetery employees has accepted a position at the Warsaw Parks & Recreation Department and will be leaving after this week.
- Heagy said an incident occurred recently regarding a misunderstanding related to stone sizes, resulting in a stone in the front row being 11 inches too tall. Allowing taller stones in the back row would not be an issue, according to Heagy, who told board members that he will be contacting local monument companies and obtaining perimeter suggestions to bring to the next meeting.
- Asphalt work will begin soon on cemetery roads that are in need of paving.
- Termite treatment has been started in the cemetery chapel. Repairs to the south wall include wainscoting and trim.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 2.