Fairview awarded state funds for cemetery work


LEWIS CENTER — At its Nov. 22 meeting, the Berlin Township Board of Trustees accepted $13,000 from the Ohio Department of Commerce for repair and reset of monuments at Fairview Memorial Park.

A ceremonial check presentation was made on Nov. 15 at the cemetery, 5035 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center.

“The funds provided will continue to pour new life for a cemetery that had troubled ownership in the past,” said Department of Commerce spokesman Michael Gravely in an email to The Gazette. The department’s Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing awards grants through its Cemetery Grant Fund annually for preservation. This care makes the cemeteries more attractive and improves safety for those who visit.

“Berlin Township is righting the wrongs of previous owners for the citizens of Delaware County,” Gravely said. “Our funding will help with repairs and reset monuments to the approximately 2,700 headstones in the cemetery. … Many burials overlap into other plots and must be corrected, so that families who purchased the encroached lots can be interred at a future date. Surveying must be done so lots can be laid out in a consistent manner.”

An estimated 75% of the monuments in Fairview are improperly set, he said.

According to the Commerce Department, Fairview Memorial Park received the second largest amount of grant money for 2022. Among the other 50 grant recipients were $4,850 to Green Mound Cemetery in Brown Township, and $1,000 for North Canaan Cemetery in Morrow County. The nearly $130,000 in funds will be used by cemetery associations, churches, townships, and villages for improvements to cemeteries they are responsible for, such as replacing markers, driveway repair, removing trees and installing fences. Interestingly, the City of Troy in Miami County will receive $1,000 to host a cemetery restoration class.

Most of the grants were awarded to townships.

“Berlin Township is responsible for the maintenance, repair and upkeep of two (2) active (Cheshire and Fairview) and three (3) inactive (Township, Blockhouse and Peachblow) cemeteries,” said the township’s website.

The Ohio History Connection has a link that answers the question of who owns cemeteries in the state.

“There are basically three types of ownership in Ohio: township, municipal and private,” the Ohio History website said. The owners are responsible for the cemetery’s care under the Ohio Revised Code and should be contacted if improvements are needed.

“For townships this is the Board of Township Trustees; for cities the Director of Public Service; for villages the Mayor or the Board of Cemetery Trustees; for jointly owned cemeteries the Board of Township Trustees and the legislative authorities of the municipalities; and for cemetery associations the Board of Trustees of such associations,” the Ohio History Connection said.


https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2021/12/web1_Check-Berlin-Township.jpgCourtesy | Ohio Department of Commerce

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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