Salem to donate toward upkeep of cemetery

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Salem will donate money toward the maintenance of the Salem Mound Cemetery on Highways 50 and B rather than take over ownership of the cemetery — at least for now.

In exchange for the donation, theĀ  Salem Town Board is requiring trustees of the cemetery to reports on operations and how the money is used.

The trustees of the cemetery approached the town about fully taking over the cemetery, said town administrator Patrick Casey.

“They’re basically going broke and they have no money to survive,” Casey said.

Casey recommended some sort of subsidy, as the board eventually agreed to, rather than taking over ownership and full responsibility for the cemetery.

“I would rather stay out of the cemetery business,” Casey said. “We’ve got a lot on our plate now.” He suggested a subsidy of between $5,000 and $10,000.

But town Chairman Linda Valentine favored the town taking over the cemetery and forming a commission to take care of the facility, likely made up of the current cemetery trustees .

“We’re going to eventually have to maintain that cemetery …” Valentine said.

The agreement will be effective Jan. 1, 2010.


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