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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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        A .25-mill, five-year levy, known as Issue 17, will be on the November 6 ballot in Jerusalem Township.

        The levy is needed to fund development of new property the township purchased for Oakwood Cemetery, which is nearly full, according to trustees.

        “Ohio law mandates that each township provide a cemetery. So we’re doing what we have to do,” said Trustee David Bench.

        The cemetery, established in 1912, is on Brown Road, between Decant and Cousino roads.

        Last year, the township was able to purchase land from an adjacent property owner, according to Trustee Mark Sattler.

        “Now we have enough property to double the size of the cemetery so we can provide for burial space for decades to come,” he said.

        There are costs to develop the property, he added.

        “It needs to be graded and tiled. And plans call for the development of a pond back near the creek that will deal with drainage so the property doesn’t get real soggy,” said Sattler. “Most of the revenue from the levy would fund the development so we can get this ready and make sure we have developed cemetery property for the future.”

       

Modest amount

        The cost of the levy to an owner of a $100,000 home is $8.75 per year, said Sattler.

        “It’s very small and modest. We tried to keep it as small as possible to minimize the impact on our residents. It’s not more than what we need. It would cover the development and any additional shortfalls in maintenance. We’re hoping to do enough for the development. We’re looking at the cost of the existing cemetery and monies from the sale of plots. Over the last five years, the sales of plots and interments have pretty much covered all the maintenance. We ran five year reports on that, and it was just about break even on it. We’ll be looking to see if we can make sure we get to break even within the next five years as well. Ideally we wouldn’t have to go back and ask for a renewal of the levy after the five years.”

        The township has its own maintenance crew that handles the streets, digs the graves and assists the funeral homes with burial. “All the mowing and trimming are done by our own people,” said Sattler. “There will be additional landscaping for the new property we are going to develop.”

       

Raised rates

        The township charges residents $200 for cemetery plots, $850 for non-residents.

        “We recently raised the rate for non-residents. It was necessary to preserve space for our residents. We want the locals to benefit from having that cemetery in their community. The costs are comparable to other rural communities. It’s considerably lower than urban communities, like Toledo, which is over $1,000,” he said.

        Bench said the levy will bring in $16,622 annually.

        The township is still seeking estimates to develop the site.

        One contractor offered to do the project for $32,000. Bench said the township may have to wait a couple of years to develop the property if the cost is higher than the projected revenue from the levy.

        “We can’t do anything until we get the money. So we will just have to wait to get it done,” he said.

        Bench said the township has maintained the cemetery over the years, including building up a nearby creek with stone to stop erosion. An archway was also installed in the middle of the cemetery five years ago.

        “We also tiled the old part of the cemetery about three years ago to help control drainage,” he said. “So we’ve been doing some upgrades for the last eight years. We are keeping it up.”

        The cemetery cannot expand in the future, said Bench.

        “We’re landlocked. The new property will probably last about 25 years or so before it’s filled,” he said.

        He also did not think the levy would need to be renewed after five years.

        “If we think we’re OK, we won’t need it anymore,” he said.

       

       

       

       

       

 

 

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