WARSAW — Oakwood Cemetery Board of Regents Secretary Ellen Hoffer was sworn in for another four-year term by Warsaw Mayor Joseph Thallemer at the first cemetery board meeting of the year held Thursday, Jan. 3.
“I never take your service for granted. I appreciate all the time you give to the city,” said Mayor Thallmer. “I appreciate you being willing to serve another four years.”
Oakwood Cemetery Sexton Hal Heagy asked for approval from board members to check into engineering fees for a project he is interested in pursuing.
“By my back gate where we have a walkway, I’d like to take a six foot sidewalk all the way around over to the Fireman’s Building so it would attach to the greenway,” Heagy explained. “Several reasons – in the summer we have a lot of ladies who bring their children down to go to the lake. They still have to go out at my entrance and go around a blind curve, and I would like to do that sidewalk and put steps right on that curve so that they can see both ways.”
Heagy added that with the park and campground in that area, it would take the pedestrian part out of the traffic that flows back there.
“I think it would enhance the beauty of that hill and we could actually maintain it a little better,” said Heagy. “We could get equipment back down in there where we can’t right now.”
Board members gave approval for Heagy to begin gathering information regarding estimates for the project.
Chad England attended the meeting as a representative of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. According to England, the church currently has 15 to 20 members. They are in search of a temporary location to hold Sunday church services, as they will no longer have access to their current facility after the end of this month. England approached Heagy to inquire about renting the cemetery chapel for their services. Heagy stated that, if approved by board members, the next step would be to consult with the mayor and an attorney to check into the legalities. Board members approved this request.
At the last meeting, Heagy informed board members that he had been approached by Nancy Williams about putting up a columbarium on her family lot at Oakwood. The columbarium would be made of fieldstone, which is generally not permitted at Oakwood due to the tendency for fieldstone to deteriorate, especially in areas prone to extreme cold temperatures.
Heagy suggested at the last meeting that if board members were considering Williams’ request the first step would be to consult with an attorney regarding implementing an agreement stating that Oakwood Cemetery would not be responsible for any damage or deterioration to the columbarium.
At last night’s meeting, Heagy presented the initial draft of the agreement. The agreement includes items such as, “The lot owner/heirs will pay for all masonry and labor using an outside source that must be insured whether for original construction or maintenance/repair in the future” and “The cemetery will get two sets of keys/specific tools for opening the niches.” It is also states in the agreement that the lot owner will be required to pay an amount not yet determined to a permanent maintenance account to cover repairs once there are no family members/heirs to take responsibility for the maintenance. Board members approved the agreement.
- Wood giveaway will begin Monday, Jan. 7.
- Restorations at the cemetery office have been completed. The renovations began after a broken water heater valve resulted in damage to the office in May.
- The next regular meeting will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7.