A week after hearing a proposal by Lake Township trustee Jeff Pettit to consider raising cemetery fees, the board of trustees did just that, passing a resolution that increases fees for setting foundations and for burials.
The increases go into effect Feb. 1.
The foundation fees are based on the size of stone and go up for each 6-inch increase in the size of the stone: from $165 for a 2-foot stone to $420 for a 7-foot stone.
Family plot foundation fees are based on the number of graves: from $585 for three graves to $1,170 for six graves.
The new foundation/stone fees are to be paid by township residents and non-residents but increases in burial fees will be borne by non-residents only. Weekday burial fees increase to $800 and Saturday burials will cost $1,000.
Fees for weekday and Saturday cremation burials are also being increased.
Pettit said the township hasn’t raised foundation fees since 2009 and the new fees are comparable to other cemeteries that he surveyed.
In related business, the trustees accepted the resignation of Gary Schulte, cemetery sexton, who is retiring.
His retirement is effective Feb. 28.
The trustees praised Schulte, who has been sexton for 27 years and worked at the cemetery for a total of 30 years, for his dedication – particularly in overseeing a cemetery that has faced tight finances in recent years. The township doesn’t have a property tax levy to support the cemetery but relies on plot sales and fees.
“You’ve done an outstanding job,” Melanie Bowen, who chairs the board of trustees, said, “You’ll be missed.”
Schulte said he plans to spend his retirement camping and attending fairs, tractor shows, and other events.
He also farms 120 acres.
The trustees met in executive session to discuss how to fill the vacancy caused by Schulte’s retirement but took no action.
The trustees also heard a report by Dan McLargin, road supervisor, who said the township’s supply of road salt was low but not critical.
They approved a resolution to purchase 300 tons from Morton Salt, Inc., Chicago, Ill., at a price of $32.52 per ton, including delivery.
The trustees also approved the purchase of another 300 tons at a previous meeting.
McLargin on Wednesday said he estimated the current supply at about 200 tons. Township crews spread about that much in the span of a few days earlier this month to melt the ice and snow covering roads following the heavy snowstorms and sub-freezing weather.