Leetonia increases burial rates

LEETONIA — Rates for burial in the Leetonia Oakdale Cemetery are increasing.

Village council approved raising cemetery rates by about $50 each during the Wednesday meeting to fall in line with rates set for other area cemeteries.

Cemetery clerk Heather Kelm said rates were last increased in 2010 and that the village did a rate comparison with about 10 other area cemeteries before coming up with the new rates.

According to the legislation approved by council, the new rates will be $500 for the purchase of a full-size grave site; $700 for the opening and closing of a full-size grave site; $250 for cremation and burial; and $250 for an infant burial.

Money from the rates is divided among the cemetery fund, perpetual care fund and capital improvement fund, and Mayor Kevin Siembida said that money from the rate increase will go into the capital improvement fund.

On a related matter, Kelm said that the GIS mapping of the cemetery is moving along quickly.

Kelm began mapping the cemetery in the spring and said she should be done soon. She said Oakdale Cemetery will be the only one in the state with GIS mapping. It is being done at no cost to the village.

The idea to perform a GIS map of the cemetery came about due to Kelm fielding about three requests a week from people wanting to know where ancestors or other people are buried.

Kelm said the GIS map will make it easier for people to research who is buried in the cemetery, and they will be able to view pictures of the gravestones.

Once completed, the cemetery GIS map will be available for viewing on the village’s website, www.leetonia.org

Kelm also told council during the meeting that she had all of the cemetery maps — even the ones dating back to the 1800s — copied and digitized.

“We now have a second set of maps in case something should happen,” she said.

In other business, council also approved a motion to draft legislation to allow the police department to exchange excess firearms for equipment.

Police Chief Allen Haueter said the department has some firearms that are not needed. He said he would provide a full list of the firearms he wishes to exchange at a future meeting.

Council will vote on the legislation in the future.

Council also heard from Shayne Scragg, a New Waterford Boy Scout who is working on his Eagle Scout project.

The project is to refurbish and repaint all of the village’s 168 fire hydrants.

Council gave Scragg permission to complete the project back in May, and Scragg provided a brief update during the meeting.

Scragg said he was able to raise $1,205, which is what was below what was originally planned for the project, but he said that was enough since it purchased the amount of paint that is needed.

He also said that the weather has delayed the project and he isn’t sure exactly when it will be completed.

The next meeting was set for 7 p.m. July 17. A finance committee meeting was also set for 6:15 p.m. before the regular meeting.