The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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After meeting in executive session, the Lake Township trustees Tuesday authorized the township cemetery sexton to hire a seasonal employee.

The trustees approved a motion to allow the sexton to hire an employee for $10 an hour and up to 30 hours a week.

The employee will be on the township payroll until Oct. 1, said Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees.

She said the seasonal employee will focus on controlling weeds and tall grass around headstones and other structures in the cemetery on Walbridge Road.

The condition of the township cemetery, including its finances, came up for discussion last month after a resident told township trustees she saw grass around headstones left un-mowed.

The resident said she was dismayed during a recent visit to the cemetery on Walbridge Road to see some headstones obscured from view by tall grass. Others visiting the cemetery on Memorial Day told her they were surprised by its condition, she said.

Bowen said the board hadn’t hired seasonal help for the 40-acre cemetery as an austerity measure.

Prior to last week’s decision, only the cemetery sexton and a full-time worker handled maintenance responsibilities. In years past the trustees hired as many as five seasonal employees before state revenues to local governments were cut, Bowen said.

The township doesn’t have a property tax levy to generate revenues for cemetery costs – instead relying on grave plot sales and burial fees.

The township budgeted $160,000 this year for cemetery costs but as of May 31 there was a balance of about $29,000 in the fund, according to figures compiled by Vicki Schwamberger, township fiscal officer.

Bowen said the township has also been buying back about four or five grave plots on average a month as owners move from the township or opt to be cremated or not buried at the cemetery.

She said state law only requires townships to mow the lawns of their cemeteries twice a year.

In other business Tuesday, the trustees agreed to appoint Mark Hummer, township police chief and administrator, as the township’s representative to the board of directors of the Joint Economic Development District the township and City of Toledo formed several years ago.

Tom Hays, the township’s solicitor who has moved from the Toledo area, had been the township representative to the board.

Bowen said the board hasn’t been as active as she’d like recently.

“We need to get that moving again,” she said.

The JEDD acreage covers the grounds of the Toledo Executive Airport, formerly Metcalf Field.

The property is owned by the City of Toledo and leased to Toledo Lucas County Port Authority.

The trustees also renewed a one-year contract Emergency Communications Network, LLC, for $6,274. The company provides telephone emergency and weather warnings to residents through the Code Red system.

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