Genoa Township’s three active cemeteries only have one plot left for sale.
During the Feb. 4 township trustees meeting, township roads and maintenance supervisor Bob Mathews gave a brief overview of township cemeteries, and the news was not good for newer residents hoping to purchase burial plots in a township cemetery. Mathews told trustees that the township’s three active cemeteries, containing 1,066 plots, have only one plot left for sale.
The township’s largest active cemetery, Burnside, is 3.5 acres with 705 lots. The 0.6-acre Red Bank Cemetery has 250 lots in the newer active section, and an old section that the township does not have records for. Sussex Street Road Cemetery, covering 0.7 acres, has 111 lots with no headstones and has soldiers buried from the War of 1812 through World War I.
The 0.5-acre Copland Cemetery with 422 lots has been inactive since World War I, and has soldiers’ graves from the Revolutionary War through the World War I.
Northlawn Memory Gardens on State Route 3 is a private, for-profit cemetery.
Trustee Frank Dantonio said the Ohio Revised Code stipulates that the township provide a cemetery for its residents.
“Genoa Township needs to find more land for a cemetery,” Dantonio said. “Possibly incorporating a park.”
The cost of a burial plot for township residents in a Genoa Township cemetery is $200, while county residents pay $500 per plot, and out-of-county residents pay $1,000. Grave opening and closing costs are $300 on weekdays, $500 on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays; and cremation inurnment is $150 any time.
“I’m questioning why, if the cemetery is paid for by Genoa residents, why do they have to pay again for a lot?” Dantonio asked. “I am not philosophically opposed to charging or denying nonresidents.”
Trustee Rick Carfagna said the need for cemetery property needs to be a bold point in the township’s updated comprehensive master plan.
In other business, Dantonio said he had questions about Genoa Community Garden plot fees going into a Delaware County Foundation fund for township park use.
Township parks manager Ron Keil said the foundation fund provides community garden users with a tax break.
“The money can come back from the foundation for use in our parks,” Keil said. “It’s done to give our taxpayers a little tax write-off.”
Dantonio said he did not care about tax breaks for community garden users, that all parks money should be treated the same – use fees coming in, and maintenance dollars going out.
“Money coming from the community gardens is not going into the general fund,” Dantonio said. “How can we justify maintenance in the community gardens, but not get revenue from them?”
Keil said there are very few ongoing expenses at the community gardens.
“The gardeners take care of everything out there,” Keil said. “There’s very little township maintenance. It’s really a self-maintaining area.”
Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.