By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — The Oakwood Cemetery Board of Regents is debating the future of a small structure known as the preacher’s stand.
Removal of the preacher’s stand behind the cemetery office was discussed during the board meeting Thursday, Aug. 5.
Oakwood Cemetery Sexton Hal Heagy asked for input from Board Secretary Ellen Hoffer, the only official board member in attendance.
Heagy said a new roof has been put on the building in recent years and more maintenance will be needed.
“I’m just entertaining the thought of taking it out,” Heagy said. “We use it once a year and now with the legion … Ken Locke has pretty much taken over the memorial program for the legion and he’s really liking just doing it at the chapel instead of going back there, so it’s not used.”
Hoffer asked what the benefit would be to keeping the building.
Heagy said basically just because it’s always been part of the cemetery. There are older stones and other items underneath the building in a storage area that Heagy said he would keep if the building is removed.
No decision was made. Heagy said the matter will be discussed again at a later time.
Heagy also reviewed a list of projects planned for 2022. The list includes construction of a cold storage building, asphalt roads in the northern old section of the cemetery, stonework around the cemetery office where the existing stone is deteriorating and placement of water lines in the eastern new section of the cemetery.
These projects will be paid for with PERM funds. Permanent maintenance funds are established for the purpose of providing for the perpetual care and maintenance of city-owned cemeteries.
In another matter, Heagy said he received a request for an oversized monument.
The cemetery rules state that the maximum base length for a four-grave system is 9 feet. This family is requesting a 14 foot base across four of the five lots they own.
Heagy presented a drawing with the measurements and placement and explained that the family buried one son last week and their other son is currently buried in Babyland at the cemetery.
The family would like to move the remains from Babyland and have both sons and the parents all buried together with one large monument. The height of the monument is 2 feet 10 inches and does not exceed height regulations.
Heagy and Hoffer both said they see no issue with accommodating this request.
Heagy said the board has allowed him to make decisions of this nature at his discretion in the past. He gave the example of the Lego man monument for 8-year-old Gidieon Cook, who was struck and killed by a vehicle in June 2019, in which the monument exceeds the height limit. The monument is in the back row and an exception was made in that circumstance.
No official vote was taken, but Heagy said he would speak with the other board members about the matter to ensure there are no concerns.
In other news:
- Price increases at the cemetery will take effect Aug. 9.
- Work has begun on a sod buffer wall to block the view of equipment at the north end of the cemetery’s new section.
- The next regular meeting will be 5 p.m. Sept 2.