With the Halloween season in full
swing, the talk of cemeteries came up at Tuesday's Lansdale Town Hall
Specifically, where Lansdale Borough stands in its discussions with Lansdale Cemetery Inc. to take ownership of Lansdale Cemetery at Whites Road and South Broad Street.
The question was broached by resident and borough council Ward One Republican candidate Jean Fritz.
"It's in the process now," said borough Manager Timi Kirchner at the town hall. "We are working with the cemetery group for the borough to take over the cemetery."
Kirchner said it a good working relationship is necessary for a smooth transition.
"The borough is working with ... a group that tried to replace itself, but just hasn't been successful in doing that," she said. "It makes sense for us to work closely with an organization that is slowly, but surely, going away."
Owners Lansdale Cemetery Inc. approached Lansdale Borough and asked them to consider taking over ownership of the cemetery and mausoleum.
On June 20, 2012, council approved an assessment on the integrity of the cemetery and mausoleum, as due diligence in a potential acquisition.
Kirchner said ownership needs to happen now, so to avoid disrepair and costs associated with its renovation.
"Under the law, cemeteries in any municipality that fall into disrepair automatically become the responsibility of the municipality," she said. "We've done the research."
Fritz said the cemetery looks "fine," and appreciated the update.
"You'll be hearing more about it in near future," Kirchner said.
Lansdale Cemetery Inc. President Phil Miller said last year that the cemetery board has been responsible for the maintenance and operation of the cemetery since 1965.
In October 2009, the five-member board "begged" for money for repairing and replacing sections of sidewalk that had become hazardous.
"Inflation in the last 36 years has caused the resources that we have to not go as far as they did 46 years ago," Miller said last year. "Our investments in the trust fund, as with all investments in the last two, three years, have taken a real hit or at least income therefrom has been reduced substantially."
Miller said then that many who were interested in the cemetery 46 years ago have either passed on or they are two generations beyond folks who had an interest in the cemetery as a result of having relatives buried there.
As a cemetery board, those wishing to be interred pay the board for a plot. The money goes into the bank and the board pays to mow the lawn and maintain trees.
Miller said the board has struggled to fill vacant slots.
It is not unusual for municipalities to get into the cemetery business. Souderton Borough was known locally for taking over ownership and maintenance of Hillside Cemetery.
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